Evan Shapiro is leaving his role as President of IFC TV and Sundance Channel to become President of Participant TV, a film-focused entertainment company that creates commercial and socially relevant content. He’ll report directly to Participant CEO Jim Berk and head up the conception, development, and production of original TV programming.
On why he made the move to the socially conscious Participant Shapiro told CableFAX, "I’m about to turn 45 and I wanted to know that over the next ten years, what I did mattered." At IFC and Sundance he led the nets’ direction to new business and programming models, secured a Prime Time Emmy nom and Golden Globe Award, and exec produced numerous docs and shows, including IFC’s hit “Portlandia.” True story: He made the original deal for R Kelly’s Trapped in The Closet on a playground in Riverside Park, NY.
Shapiro is very active in public service and education, a background that should serve him well at Participant. He’s been on the Board of The Ghetto Film School for 8 years and currently serves on WICT’s NY Chapter’s. He’s Chair of both the 25th Anniversary Gala of the Social Ventures Network and the Cable Center’s Cable Mavericks Masters Program. Nor is he afraid to get political: he was arrested for protesting the Florida vote count during the 2000 presidential election.
Jason Hyde is Discovery Channel’s new VP of Research. Hyde’s responsibilities include directing the net’s research efforts, using Nielsen ratings and other databases to develop programming and marketing strategies. He’ll also oversee all research studies, program tests and analysis. Hyde comes from Scripps Nets, where he was VP for HGTV and DIY Network Research, and he also worked in research at The Weather Channel. He now reports to Edward Sabin, EVP and Group Chief Operating Officer, Discovery & TLC Networks, in D.C. Jason, we learned, is a car aficionado. “The older the better so I can get working under the hood and hopefully restore them to their former glory,” he says. He counts cycling, “Scouting” with his boys and home improvement as hobbies, too. “You take the guy outta HGTV, but I guess you can’t take the HGTV out of the guy. I love renovating my home—and now I have a whole new one to get started on.”
Richard Loomis was promoted to a newly created position at Disney Channels Worldwide: SVP and Chief Marketing Officer. His last role was SVP, Marketing and Creative. Prior to joining Disney in 2007, he was SVP, Marketing and Brand Strategy for MTV Networks’ Comedy Central. He also spent 7 years at Nickelodeon. Loomis will lead the creative marketing for Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior, in addition to the company’s global brands. Oversight of creative marketing support for the Disney Media Sales and Marketing team, as well as working with Programming, Global Brand Marketing, Franchise Management and Radio Disney’s network and 30 stations are additional duties. He’ll report to Gary Marsh, President and Chief Creative Officer.
Comcast has promoted Melanie Penna to SVP, Human Resources Service Delivery. She’s charged with leading the HR ops team behind the SAP Human Capital Management system strategy and overseeing HR for key business functions. She reports to William Strahan, EVP, Human Resources. Penna is active on WICT’s Board, having served on the Executive Committee and the National Board as Chair. She received the WICT Philadelphia Liberty Award in 2004 and is involved in numerous HR associations and leadership organizations. Melanie was in the University of Notre Dame Marching Band, and she still marches and plays in the alumni band today. She teaches 3rd grade catechism at St. Joseph on the Brandywine Church in Delaware, is currently training to run in the 2012 Marine Corps Marathon and loves college football, especially from her hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan. “I grew up idolizing Bo Schembechler.” Believe it or not, she’s able to carve out some relaxation time, preferably in Avalon, New Jersey, where she participated in her first ‘Polar Bear Plunge’ this past February.