Cartoon Network GM Samples Resigns Over Aqua Teen Scare
Jim Samples, Cartoon Network's evp/gm, has stepped down as a result of the AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE marketing disaster, which caused a bomb scare in Boston, resulting in Turner Broadcasting System owing the city and homeland security $2 million. On a temporary basis, all CN execs will report to Turner Ent. Group president Mark Lazarus.
Samples wrote to his employees on Friday, saying, "I am sure you are aware of recent events in which a component of an Adult Swim marketing campaign made Turner Broadcasting the unintended focus of controversy in Boston and around the world. I deeply regret the negative publicity and expense caused to our company as a result of this campaign. As general manager of Cartoon Network, I feel compelled to step down, effective immediately, in recognition of the gravity of the situation that occurred under my watch.
Its my hope that my decision allows us to put this chapter behind us and get back to our mission of delivering unrivaled original animated entertainment for consumers of all ages. As for me, there will be new professional challenges ahead that will make the most of the experiences Ive had as part of this remarkable company. Through my 13 years at the company I have found myself continuously in awe of the talented artists and business people surrounding me, from those who realize their vision in creating a cartoon to those who so brilliantly deliver the animation to viewers. I will always cherish the experience of having worked with you. I appreciate the support that you have shown me. As a friend and a fan, I also look forward to seeing your best and most personally fulfilling work yet. Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Boomerang and each of you deserve nothing less."
Lazarus responded, "Our colleague Jim Samples tendered his resignation today. Jims leadership of Cartoon Network moved our animation brands and businesses aggressively into the online space, grew Adult Swim from a programming block to a network success story and inspired cause-marketing initiatives that have made a difference in countless kids lives. He has been a valued friend and mentor to people throughout the company and around the world.
Jims decision to leave his post is a reflection of his regard for the business he helped build and the people he trusts to move it forward. He has our respect, appreciation and sincere best wishes."
Samples became the gm of Cartoon Network in August 2001 after serving as the gm of the network's online division. Prior to that he was svp/gm of TNT and Cartoon Network Latin America.
Turner said that Samples was only person to step down as a result of the incident and that the company does not plan to fire anyone either.