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MacCurdy Steps Out, Schwartz Steps In At WB Animation

Warner Bros. Animation has announced that Jean MacCurdy has stepped down from her post as president and will be replaced by former Sony Family Entertainment Group president Sander Schwartz. MacCardy will become a creative consultant for the studio, working on developing animated and live-action children's productions. In 1979, she joined Warner Bros. Cartoons as director of animation programming and in 1982, was promoted to VP and general manager. In 1983, MacCurdy was named vice president, Children's Programs at Hanna-Barbera Productions and in 1987 she moved to Marvel Productions as VP, Programming. In 1988, MacCurdy returned to Warner Bros. Television Animation as vice president and general manager and three years later was named senior vice president and general manager. Concurrent with her responsibilities as president of Warner Bros. Television Animation, she launched and helped build the Kids WB! Schwartz will officially take the presidential reigns on April 16. He will be responsible for the studios physical production of theatrical, television, direct-to-video and classic animation, as well as oversight of creative development for television and direct-to-video animated programming. Schwartz will also oversee the animated utilization and adaptation of Warner Bros. classic library characters for non-programming uses such as commercials, PSAs, Internet and interactive devices. Schwartz comes to Warner Bros. from Sony Pictures Family Entertainment (SPFE), where for the past two years he served as the divisions first President, responsible for creating character-based entertainment targeted to the all-family audience, overseeing the development, production, marketing and worldwide distribution of the divisions television and direct-to-video titles. He oversaw such current hits as JACKIE CHAN ADVENTURES, MAX STEEL and MEN IN BLACK: THE SERIES for Kids WB!; DRAGON TALES (co-produced with Sesame Workshop); and ROUGHNECKS: STARSHIP TROOPERS CHRONICLES, JUMANJI and EXTREME GHOSTBUSTERS airing in syndication. "Sander is one of the most respected, most successful executives in childrens programming today," said Barry Meyer, chairman and CEO, Warner Bros. "Jean has wanted to step away from the day-to-day operational rigors of running a division for some time and concentrate on the creative side of programming, but we convinced her to stay until we could find someone who could carry on her ethic of excellence and achievement. We were very fortunate to convince Sander to join us, and no one is happier about this than Jean." Schwartz said, "My years at Sony Pictures Entertainment and Columbia Pictures Television have been terrific, but I couldnt pass up this once in a lifetime opportunity to work with and extend so many of the most important brands and characters in animation history. I grew up watching Warner Bros. Animation, I have always loved it and the chance to work with Warner Bros. Animation is a dream come true. Jean has set the bar high, and I am committed to continuing her legacy." MacCurdy said, "Ive had an incredible run and feel truly blessed to have worked with the best in the business on some of the best animation ever created. I am doubly blessed to be able to continue to create kids programming as a member of the Warner Bros. family and turn over the remarkable Warner Bros. Animation team to someone of Sanders caliber and integrity."

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Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
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