People on the Move

TLC loses a key exec; NATPE gets a new CEO; Fremantle appoints new programming VP
April 24, 2003

Mary Ellen Iwata is parting ways with The Learning Channel. Currently the VP of development and special projects at the Discovery-owned cable channel, Iwata is headed for cable channel Home & Garden Television, where she will fill the newly created position of VP, development. Iwata has been with Discovery since 1989 and starts her new job on May 31. Although the channel is based in Knoxville, U.S., Iwata will be working in Baltimore. Her departure marks the third notable exit in the past few months – RealScreen Plus reported on February 13, 2003, that two execs left TLC for E! Networks’ Style Network.

After months of searching, the Los Angeles, U.S.-based National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) has appointed Rick Feldman its new president and chief executive officer, effective April 28. Feldman was most recently the executive VP and CEO of USA Broadcasting in Los Angeles. He replaces Bruce Johansen, who resigned in January (see RealScreen Plus, January 23, 2003).

International prodco FremantleMedia announced the promotion of Jane Rimer to the position of senior VP, programming and development for FremantleMedia North America and Fremantle International Distribution. Based in New York, U.S., Rimer currently holds a development and sales position, producing formats for the North American office. Her new responsibilities will include the acquisition of factual programming for Fremantle International Distribution (FID).

In related news, Fremantle International Distribution, FremantleMedia’s distribution arm, announced the appointment of Carol Eymery as VP sales for the UK, French-speaking Europe, Ireland and South Africa. Eymery will be based in London, U.K. She was previously a sales director for FJE Film & TV in Munich, Germany, and was responsible for selling worldwide rights to the TV libraries of such channels as ZDF.

Austin, U.S.-based fest South by Southwest (SXSW) has promoted Matt Dentler to the new position of film conference and festival producer. Dentler’s responsibilities will include day-to-day operations, organizing the panels and programming films. He has been with the festival since 2000.

London, U.K.-based BBC World, the BBC’s international 24-hour news channel, announced the appointment of Seema Kotecha as head of marketing. Kotecha will head up the international team in London, U.K., Singapore and Delhi, India.

Fort Worth, U.S.-based Urban Television Network Corporation has hired producer Dale Smith as program director.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.