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Dish Network Realigns Executive Team, Sets New President-COO

Charlie Ergen’s Dish Network has unveiled a broad executive realignment that elevates 20-year company veteran Erik Carlson to the post of president and chief operating officer.

Dish said the changes were made to allow the company “to more fully respond to the dynamic pay-TV environment.” There’s been mounting speculation that Dish is looking to move away from its core satellite TV service in favor of its fledgling Sling TV streaming digital channels service and possibly other OTT offerings.

Carlson climbed the ranks at Englewood, Colo.-based Dish through its operations, technology and customer service departments. He was most recently exec VP of operations. He takes over the president title from Ergen, who remains chairman-CEO.

Ergen assumed the role of president last March after the retirement of Joseph Clayton. Bernie Han, who had served as Dish’s exec VP and COO, will shift to exec VP of strategic planning and report to Ergen. Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch also reports to Ergen.

Carlson will oversee programming, marketing, technology, media sales, customer acquisition and various administrative functions. Dish’s general counsel and heads of corporate development will report to Ergen.

“Erik joined us just before our first satellite launch and has consistently demonstrated remarkable leadership across his many assignments throughout our business,” said Ergen. “He has a clear vision for how Dish will deliver the best customer experience and claim share in our category.”

Sling TV will remain a separate entity within the company, although some of the areas that Carlson now oversees will also support Sling TV. It’s unclear how many subscribers Sling TV at present. Earlier this year, Dish said it had about 169,000 subs for the service that offers about 20 channels for $20 a month, while sports, kids and movie channels can be added for incremental $5 fees.

Dish’s core satellite TV service has about 13.9 million subscribers.

Among the promotions unveiled Friday was the elevation of Warren Schlichting to exec VP of marketing, programming and media sales. He was previously senior VP of programming and media sales.


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