Eric Shanks, Who Led DirecTV's Interactive TV and VOD Efforts, Named President of Fox Sports

--NBC News Promotes Ryan Osborn to Newly Created Position of Director of Social Media

DirecTV said Wednesday that Eric Shanks, its EVP of entertainment, will leave the company next month to take up a new position as president of Fox Sports, reporting to Fox Sports Media Group chairman and CEO, David Hill.

Shanks, who joined DirecTV in 2004, as SVP of advanced services and content, oversaw its interactive TV programming and services, its original entertainment and its advertising sales. Among other things, he was responsible for the satellite TV provider's DirecTV on Demand platform, its NFL Red Zone Channel and NASCAR HotPass services, its The 101 Network, and its 3D TV initiatives. In 2006, he formed DirecTV's first advertising sales team, and more recently he took on the new responsibility of leading its Sports Networks business unit, which is comprised if regional sports networks in Seattle, Denver and Pittsburgh. Prior to joining DirecTV, Shanks served as VP of enhanced programming at Fox Television Networks.

DirecTV says that it will announce its succession plans in the coming weeks.

In other personnel news: NBC News has promoted Ryan Osborn to the newly created position of director of social media. He will be tasked with overseeing and executing all social media initiatives for the division, including managing its usage of social media to increase awareness of its programming, and to enable interactivity with viewers and outreach to target audience groups, NBC News says.

According to NBC News, Osborn's new position will streamline the division's existing social media activities and initiatives. In recent years, NBC News says, he has worked closely with the editors of to launch cross-media initiatives such as "Today in 2 Minutes," and was an integral part of the team that created a partnership with Foursquare to promote a Toyota-sponsored concert series on "Today." During the so-called "miracle on the Hudson," he used the @todayshow Twitter account to find the initial image of survivors, enabling MSNBC to be the first network to use that TwitPic on the air, NBC News says.

North America