People on the Move

Former Granada exec John Willis jumps to WGBH; VH1 ups Christina Norman; Jagdip Jagpal departs SMG TV Productions.
April 25, 2002

Boston PBS channel WGBH has named John Willis its new head of programming. Willis, who left his post as as managing director of worldwide production for the U.K.’s Granada Media six months ago, has accepted a hefty responsibility as WGBH currently supplies about one third of PBS programming.

Christina Norman has been named executive VP and GM of the Viacom-owned VH1 network. Norman, formerly senior VP of marketing and on-air promotion for MTV, replaces John Sykes, who left last month to join Viacom’s Infinity Broadcasting Corp.‘s radio operations.

Jagdip Jagpal is leaving her post as MD of U.K.-based SMG TV Productions. Elisabeth Partyka, SMG TV Productions’ head of development, will replace Jagpal next month. Jagpal was responsible for putting the formerly independent production company Ginger Television under the umbrella of SMG’s program-making arm to form SMG TV Productions.

Ruth Wrigley is leaving her post as production chief for Endemol, the production company behind the U.K. version of Big Brother. Wrigley will join Thames Television, but will stay with Endemol for several months as entertainment controller and will oversee the third series of Big Brother.

Paul Melville has joined Australia’s Southern Star group as a development executive. Melville was formerly head of Sydney-based XYZ Entertainment, which provides programs to pay TV carriers in Australia and New Zealand.

Laurie Zaks has joined L.A.-based UPN as senior VP, current programs. Zaks was formerly with CBS as VP, current programs.

Sophia Choi has been promoted to primary weeknight anchor for CNN Headline News from her post as anchor.

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