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Sling TV Head Warren Schlichting Departs Amid Subscrber Losses And Parent Dish’s Wireless Push

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A transforming Dish Network expanded its senior management to oversee an aggressive move into wireless, hiring and promoting a handful of executives and announcing one high-profile exit.

Warren Schlichting is leaving as group president of Sling TV as the service continued to lose subscribers in the latest quarter. He was replaced by Michael Schwimmer, previously Exec VP of International, Business Development and Strategy with responsibility for Dish TV and Sling TV multicultural and AVOD offerings. Schwimmer will also lead Dish Media Sales.

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The other appointments reflect Dish’s move to enter the wireless market as a facilities-based provider of wireless services with a nationwide consumer offering and development of a standalone 5G broadband network. Industry veteran Dave Mayo has joined as EVP, Network Development after several decades at T-Mobile USA. Dish was smack in the middle of the recent $26-billion merger of T-Mobile and Sprint, picking up Sprint’s prepaid mobile brand Boost and its 800MHz wireless spectrum in the process.

Regulators were concerned about the merger reducing the number of wireless providers so Dish’s agreement to buy some assets and create its own service helped the deal close. The satellite TV business has been shrinking dramatically and Dish founder and chairman Charlie Ergen has for years been promising to transform it into a wireless powerhouse. He’s ambitous — looking to build a 5G network to rival A&T, Verizon and the new T-Mobile.

Other promotions include Jeff Blum being moved to EVP, External and Legislative Affairs, overseeing public policy, regulatory and government affairs in Washington, D.C. He’s been with Dish since 2005 and worked on spectrum acquisitions, regulatory affairs and, on Dish’s behalf, with the DOJ on the merger.

John Swieringa has been named Group President, Retail Wireless, and will also retain his title as Dish chief operating officer. He was previously EVP of Operations, overseeing DISH’s In Home Services and Customer Service, Billing, Information Technology and Manufacturing & Distribution functions.

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