Dean Hovell, senior operations producer for “World News Tonight With Peter Jennings,” ankled ABC last week to become president of American operations for Locked-On Communications, a mobile satellite company.
Hovell will oversee Locked-On’s new venture with Los Angeles-based National Satellite to launch a fleet of digital, multistream satellite trucks to cover news events around the country. The truck will be introduced next month at the National Assn. of Broadcasters Convention in Las Vegas.
“We see ourselves as digital visionaries with trucks,” Hovell said. “This is one of the rare opportunities to take a new technology and lace it through at least three industries: the Internet, movies and television. This is only the beginning (for) an industry whose time has come.”
Based in London, Locked-On was founded in 1997 by Bob Lockeridge, a former operations supervisor for Reuters Television.
“In Europe we have been transmitting digitally for more than six years while American networks have just started jumping in,” Lockeridge said. “There is a dearth of new digital trucks in America, and we hope to fill that need.”
Hovell, based at the ABC News Washington bureau, has produced newscasts from Bosnia, Somalia and Haiti. He recently helped launch ABC’s first net-work-produced news show at SamDonaldson.com.