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Corus Entertainment Announces Nelvana Executive Team

In the wake of last week's announcement of the departure of Michael Hirsh, CEO of Nelvana, Corus Entertainment Inc. announced that it will combine the operations of Nelvana and its television division into one integrated business unit under the leadership of Paul Robertson. "As president of Corus Television, Paul has consistently delivered outstanding financial results and programming schedules, always with customer service as a top priority," said John Cassaday, president and CEO of Corus Entertainment. "Were confident that both Nelvana and our television businesses will gain significant momentum under his leadership." Prior to the creation of Corus Entertainment and his appointment as president of the television division, Robertson was president of YTV. Corus also announced other appointments to the Nelvana executive team. Peter Moss has been named executive vice president, development for Nelvana, adding to his responsibilities as head of programming for Corus Television. Emmanuèle Petry has been promoted to senior vice president, International, with responsibility for program sales, licensing and co-productions in western and eastern Europe, Latin and South America, the UK and Africa. Scott Dyer will continue as executive vice president responsible for all Nelvana production. The Nelvana executive team will be rounded out by an as yet to be announced senior position focused on the commercial aspects of Nelvana with responsibility for all sales, marketing, publishing, consumer products and brand building. After reporting a net loss of $190 million in its fourth quarter, Corus Entertainment Inc. recently revealed it has taken a CAD$200 million (approx. US$128 million) write-down of its investment in Nelvana because of the slowdown in the production and distribution industry over the past year. The company also plans to reduce Nelvana's production levels to less than 150 episodes in fiscal 2003, as opposed to 252 episodes produced in fiscal 2002. In a statement, Robertson commented: "Nelvana has a wealth of internationally recognized animation properties like BABAR, LITTLE BEAR and FRANKLIN that we can build on. We have a seasoned executive team and we have recently approved production of 150 new episodes for this fiscal year. This will expand our library with new seasons of classic titles and new projects that will become future ratings drivers for our global programming partners." Robertson concluded, "With the support of our broadcast and co-production partners around the world, we will focus our efforts on producing new animation properties that can create long term value in the marketplace."