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While DirecTV gets ready to welcome John Malone's Liberty Media as its biggest stakeholder, independent satellite-TV rival EchoStar Communications is showing some things never change.

Like turnover among EchoStar's top marketing executives.

Jody Martin, the senior vice president who got credit last year for the campaign that said cable TV "sucks" compared with Dish Network, has joined the list of marketers who didn't linger long at chairman and CEO Charlie Ergen's operation. The former Qwest executive's last day, before leaving to pursue other opportunities, was Dec. 1, EchoStar corporate communications director Kathie Gonzalez said. Martin joined Dish in May 2005.

EchoStar had recently hired Bobby Billman as senior VP of product marketing, but said Martin would still oversee branding, messaging and advertising. Gonzalez said Billman now will run all the marketing operations until a replacement for Martin is hired. That team includes at least four vice presidents.

Martin had reported to executive vice president James DeFranco but Billman reports to president Carl Vogel.

Other top marketers to come and go at Dish in recent years include senior VP John Scarborough, who left around the time executive VP of programming and marketing Michael Schwimmer left to become CEO of Sì TV in 2005. Ira Bahr, a one-time marketing senior VP, quit in 2002 to launch a Bingo TV service that Dish Network carried for a while, then shut down.

"It's a tough position to stay in a long time," said Barbara Roehrig-Sullivan, Dish's marketing VP in 1995-96. Ergen and other top brass there "are so intense and so involved in the day-to-day business" that there's a lot of scrutiny on marketers. "The rewards are great, but the challenges are also great," she said.

As for rewards, Martin on Nov. 27 exercised stock options for 5,000 shares. The option price was $30 and she sold them at an average price of $35.72, a gain of about $29,000.

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Source: http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6398648.html (2nd Story there)
 
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