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HIT's VP Business Development Jon Owen Expands Plans Into Europe

HIT Ent., one of the worlds leading pre-school childrens entertainment producers and rights owners, has stepped up the companys licensing activities into new and existing territories across Europe, with new deals in Scandinavia.

Jon Owen, vp, business development, joined HIT in May 2006 to grow European licensing, publishing, food and promotion business across HITs portfolio of pre-school properties. Following Owens appointment, the Denmark-based agency Kidz Ent. was selected to lead the sales efforts across Scandinavia and is the primary agent for HITs core pre-school properties THOMAS & FRIENDS, BOB THE BUILDER, FIREMAN SAM and PINGU.

Broadcasting deals for THOMAS & FRIENDS, BOB THE BUILDER and FIREMAN SAM on TV in Scandinavia have been made with NRK and TV2 in Norway, Kanal 5 in Sweden, Channel 4 in Finland, DRTV in Denmark, YLE in Finland and RUV in Iceland.

We are delighted to be partnering with Kidz Ent., leaders in their field and unparalleled in their local market knowledge," said Owen. "The team at HIT is committed to growing and expanding our licensing business across Europe particularly, into new territories."

Morten Geschwendtner, co-coe/president Kidz Ent., said, It is no secret that we are very excited about this relationship. Not only are we excited about working with the brands, but also the phenomenal and visionary team at HIT, as we truly feel this will be a long-term and mutually beneficial partnership.

Owen joins HIT from 20th Century Fox where he was European commercial director working on key brands, such as THE SIMPSONS, ICE AGE 2, ROBOTS and FAMILY GUY.

Owen will lead the European HIT team strengthened recently with two internal promotions. Laura Clarke takes up the position of director Licensing Northern Europe and Joanna Fairclough is director, licensing responsible for southern Europe.

HIT ceo Bruce Steinberg said, We are delighted to welcome Jon on board and be part of the companys world-class management team. Jon brings to HIT a wealth of experience in international licensing and will be responsible for driving our international business across Europe.

Established in 1989, HIT Ent. ( is one of the world's leading preschool children's entertainment producers and rights owners. With operations in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Japan and Germany, the company's activities span television production and distribution, home entertainment, consumer products, publishing and live events. HIT's famous characters include classic global brands, such as BOB THE BUILDER, BARNEY, THOMAS & FRIENDS, PINGU, RUBBADUBBERS and ANGELINA BALLERINA. HIT sells its shows to more than 240 territories globally and has operations in the U.K., U.S., Japan and Canada. In 2005, the company joined Comcast Corp., PBS and Sesame Workshop to launch PBS KIDS Sprout, a 24-hour digital cable channel and VOD service for preschoolers.