People on the Move

Veteran war reporter Arnett sacked; BSkyB appoints deputy for Airey; OSF exec flies the coop
April 3, 2003

Washington, U.S.-based National Geographic and American network MSNBC have fired their star reporter in Iraq, Peter Arnett. The move followed a high-profile interview of Arnett on Iraqi TV, during which he expressed his opinion that the U.S.’s war plan was not going well due to Iraqi resistance. NBC issued a press release, stating, ‘It was wrong for Mr. Arnett to grant an interview to state-controlled Iraqi TV – especially at a time of war – and it was wrong for him to discuss his personal observations and opinions in that interview. Therefore, Peter Arnett will no longer be reporting for NBC News and MSNBC.’ Arnett won’t be standing in the dole line, however – he’s already been hired by London, U.K.-based tabloid The Daily Mirror.

U.K. cable network BSkyB announced the appointment of Mark Sharman as deputy managing director, Sky Networks, reporting to managing director Dawn Airey. Sharman was most recently director of broadcasting and production at BSkyB.

Sean Morris has left Southern Star subsidiary Oxford Scientific Films after 34 years to pursue a freelance career. Morris was executive producer at the Oxon, U.K.-based film and photo archive house.

E! Networks announced that Christine Fellowes has been appointed regional director for E! Entertainment Television Asia. Fellowes will head up sales and distribution of E!’s entertainment news and lifestyle programming in the Asia Pacific region.

London, U.K.-based Buena Vista International Television (BVITV), the distribution arm of Walt Disney Television International, has lured Alison Homewood from BBC Worldwide. Formerly the deputy managing director for Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa at BBC Worldwide, Homewood will start in May as BVITV’s new VP of sales for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

New York, U.S.-based distrib Wellspring announced that Rob Williams has joined the company as manager of acquisitions. Williams was previously in theatrical marketing at DreamWorks Pictures in the company’s New York office.

TechTV has appointed Peter Gochis to the position of senior VP of worldwide distribution. His new responsibilities will include domestic sales to cable and satellite distribs in the U.S., and international program sales and channel distribution. Gochis was most recently vice president, affiliate sales and marketing at TechTV. He is replacing Tom Grams, the former GM of TechTV International, who is now VP of programming.

Maja Dyekjer Giese has been appointed as the Danish Film Institute (DFI)’s new promotion manager. Dyekjær Giese was previously marketing producer for the production and development division at DFI. Her new responsibilities will include DFI’s international festival operations.

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