Entries in Executive (3)


Missing LA Exec Possibly Spotted With Woman in Restaurant

Gavin Smith, 57, left, has gone missing. (ABC News)(LOS ANGELES) -- A Hollywood movie executive, who mysteriously disappeared earlier this month from a female friend's home, may have been spotted eating at a restaurant with a woman, according to a new report.

Gavin Smith, the 57-year-old father and husband who went missing on May 2, allegedly stopped at the southern California restaurant Taco Temple on the night of May 7, an eyewitness told NBC4 of Madison, Wisc.

David Brill, of Madison, told his local news station that he was traveling on business to Morro Bay, Calif., when he noticed a tall, blond-haired man matching Smith's description with a female companion.

"The next morning in the office, I noticed on the Yahoo main page that there was a news link to a missing Hollywood executive. I happened to click on the link, saw the photo, and said, 'Oh boy, that's the guy I saw in the restaurant the previous night,'" Brill said.

Smith was reported missing by his wife when he failed to pick up his son one Wednesday morning to take him to school and then did not call into work or his family. Smith's wife, children, and sister previously told ABC News that the former UCLA basketball star and 20th Century Fox movie executive would never abandon his family.

Brill was unable to be reached for confirmation by ABC News, but the TV station also reported that a waitress at the Taco Temple in Morro Bay confirmed Brill's sighting.

Marcy Carney said that she chatted with Smith and the woman while she waited on them.

"They were kind of quiet when they first came in and then once I got them talking, they seemed real friendly," Carney told the station.

She said that Smith said he would be staying in town for a night or two and then heading "up north." He paid for the food in cash and told Carney to keep the change, according to the report.

The restaurant told ABC News that they have a surveillance camera, but would not release the tape. Carney was not able to be reached by ABC News on Friday.

The family would not say why Smith, an 18-year veteran in the movie industry who has helped distribute movies such as Avatar and the Star Wars trilogy, was staying with a family friend in Oak Park, Calif. He had returned earlier that day from a movie convention in Las Vegas and was supposed to stay the night there, but the family said it was unusual that he left that home at 10 p.m. without warning.

"They had already gone to bed," Lisa Smith said. "So he was still downstairs watching TV when our friend went to bed. And he was going to be coming up to bed shortly."

The Smiths told ABC News that Gavin Smith's cell phone charger, shaving kit, and other belongings were all at the friend's house where he was staying. He was last seen wearing purple workout pants that had belonged to his teenage son, which the family says is a sure sign he had no intention of going out anywhere in public.

Steve Whitmore of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department said that detectives were following all leads, but have gotten "lots of leads" since the disappearance.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Former CNN Exec Caught Putting Dog Poop in Neighbor’s Mailbox

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(COVINGTON, Ga.) -- The former president of CNN’s Headline News almost found himself in deep doo-doo after he was caught on camera placing a bag filled with dog excrement in a neighbor’s mailbox last week.

Bob Furnad was seemingly oblivious to the surveillance camera capturing him and his dog as he looked up his neighbor’s driveway, then shoved a plastic baggie into their mailbox.

Hours later, Benjamin Dameron and Ralph Miller discovered just what he’d left behind.  Dameron said that he was “shocked” to discover what was in the bag.

“We cannot figure out why he did it,” Dameron said.  “At this point we really don’t care why he did it … You know it was a silly thing to do, and were over it.  I mean it’s just a silly prank.”

Dameron, 71, said that the prank that you’d expect from a teen came from Furnad, who is also a respected professor at the University of Georgia.

Furnad, who was head of CNN's Headline News until 2001, admitted to the act to police and local media, but did not apologize.

“This was an immature act in response to years of malicious rumor mongering that I consider defamation of character,” he told the Covington News.

Dameron and Miller have lived in Worthington Manor, a historic home in the quiet, upscale Georgia town of Covington for more than two decades.  They say they haven’t spoken to Furnad in years, and that any feud is news to them.

The two opted not to sue Furnad, who was fined $181 for littering.

“I think this is embarrassing enough for him, as well as everyone in Covington,” Dameron said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


20th Century Fox Executive Missing; Son Uses Twitter to Spread Word

Siri Stafford/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- Authorities in Los Angeles are seeking the public’s help in the search for a 20th Century Fox distribution executive and former UCLA basketball player, Gavin Smith, who disappeared last week.

Smith, 57, was reported missing by his wife on Wednesday morning. According to authorities, he was last seen driving away from a friend’s home in Oak Park, California.  Family members haven’t heard from him since, and his sister says Smith would never have abandoned his family.

“My biggest concern is that he did not pick up his son, which he was supposed to pick up on Wednesday morning to take him to school, and that is a concern for me,” Tara Addeo, Smith’s sister, told KABC-TV.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Public Information Officer Steve Whitmore told ABC News it’s an active missing-person case and ongoing investigation.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Authorities say Smith was driving his black 2000 Mercedes-Benz 420E with a storage rack on the roof, tinted windows and a California license plate number 6EKT044. Evan Smith, a forward for the University of Southern California basketball team and Gavin’s son, has been using Twitter to spread the word on his father’s disappearance.

“Still looking for him, I’ll never stop,” Evan Smith tweeted on Sunday.

On Monday he tweeted, “WOW. So many people have come to my family’s side in these times of despair and confusion. i thank each and everyone of you for your support.”

Gavin Smith played for UCLA’s 1975 national championship team under legendary coach John Wooden. He has been a longtime employee at Fox.

Chris Aronson of 20th Century Fox said in statement that they are “extremely worried” about Smith and they are actively assisting the sheriff’s search for him.

Gavin Smith is described as 6 feet 6 inches tall, weighing 210 pounds, with green eyes, gray hair with blond streaks, and a goatee. He has a 5-inch scar on his calf and a 4-inch scar on his inner right wrist.

Anyone with information about Smith’s whereabouts is urged to contact detectives at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio