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BET Hires Three Execs, Launches Toon Unit

BET has hired three new execs, which includes a head for its new animated programming division, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.

Denys Cowan has been hired for the new position of svp animation. Previously, Cowan worked with Hudlin on the Adult Swim series THE BOONDOCKS as producer and supervising director for Sony Pictures Television Animation. Hudlin is one of the exec producers of BOONDOCKS.

BET entertainment president Reginald Hudlin sees animation not only a ratings getter for the network's primetime block, but also a tool to lure the young-adult audience to BETs efforts in home video, online and wireless.

"As BET looks for that next big signature hit that finds the network, animation is an obvious place for us to explore," Hudlin said. "When you look at the success of animation with our kind of demographic, it's a pretty consistent winner."

In addition, former production company partner Byron Phillips has been hired as BET's new evp entertainment. Darrell Walker, former evp business and legal affairs at Mandalay Pictures, will take on the role of evp business affairs.

Phillips, Hudlin's former partner at his banner HudPhilms, previously served as founder/ceo of AHM Ent. He will be in charge of new initiatives ranging from the branded entertainment space to the music industry.

All three execs will report to Hudlin out of BET's Los Angeles office.

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