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Dish Moves Sling TV Under President Erik Carlson, as OTT Architect Roger Lynch Departs for Pandora

Dish Network is reshuffling the management of its Sling TV division with the departure of Roger Lynch, the exec who built the over-the-top pay-TV service, who is exiting to join streaming-music company Pandora as president and CEO.

Dish said it will move oversight of Sling TV under the purview of Erik Carlson, Dish’s president and COO and a veteran of 20-plus years of the company, effective Aug. 31. Lynch starts at Pandora on Sept. 18.

Carlson joined the satellite TV operator in 1995. He oversees the company’s day-to-day operations including HR, operations and information technology, media sales, marketing, programming, acquisition and retention, finance, and accounting organizations. Carlson will continue to report to Dish chairman and CEO Charlie Ergen.

“Roger built a fantastic team that will take Sling TV into the bright future ahead, and I wish Roger the best in his new endeavor,” Ergen said in a statement. He said Carlson “is positioned to fully support and grow our enterprise’s portfolio, including our Sling TV asset, as we work to connect 100% of the country through satellite, OTT, wireless and even digital over-the-air offerings.”

Dish doesn’t break out how many Sling TV subs it has versus traditional satellite customers — but clearly the satellite biz has been in a downward spiral, while the OTT side of the house isn’t making up the difference. At the end of the second quarter, Sling TV had 1.45 million subs (+89,000 for Q2) while Dish satellite pay-TV subs were 11.9 million (-285,000 for Q2), according to estimates by MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett.

Carlson assumed the president/COO role in December 2015. Previously he was EVP of operations, overseeing Dish’s in-home services, customer service centers, customer billing, and IT organizations, as well as manufacturing, which consists of equipment retrieval and refurbishment operations. Prior to that, he managed the company’s indirect sales operations as SVP of retail services and sales. Carlson received a bachelor’s degree in business from Bradley University.

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