Mike Lazzo named Executive Vice President/Creative Director, Adult Swim, and Rob Sorcher named Executive Vice President/Chief Content Officer, Cartoon Network, as Cartoon Network and Adult Swim align content, digital and gaming into one area for each network.
Rob Sorcher and Mike Lazzo have been named Executive Vice President/Chief Content Officer for Cartoon Network and Executive Vice President/Creative Director, Adult Swim, respectively. The announcement was made by Stuart Snyder, President and Chief Operating Officer of Turner Broadcasting’s Animation, Young Adults & Kids Media Division. Sorcher, based at Cartoon Network Studios in Burbank, Calif., and Lazzo, at Williams Street Studios in Atlanta, will continue to report to Snyder.
In their new roles, both executives will now be taking on the added responsibilities of overseeing the digital and gaming businesses for each of their areas along with continuing to spearhead the development and production of original and acquired content for Cartoon Network and Adult Swim, and the supervision of Cartoon Network Studios and Williams Street Studios (Adult Swim).
“In order to build on our continued success it is imperative that we have a structure in place that will allow us to think and execute more strategically and also set us up for growth and new business opportunities,” said Snyder. “By bringing together all content on one team for each network, we will improve communication and promote idea sharing even more and align strategic initiatives. Rob and Mike have both had tremendous creative success and will now be able to drive all of the efforts around linear, on-line, mobile, games and apps for each of their areas, putting us in a better position to leverage all of our assets across every platform in a more cohesive way for the consumer and in the marketplace.”
Prior to today’s announcement, Rob Sorcher was Chief Content Officer for Cartoon Network and was responsible for driving the network's original content development as well as supervising its programming acquisition strategies. Sorcher also oversees Cartoon Network Studios (CNS) in Burbank, Calif., executive-producing animated and live-action productions for linear and digital exhibition, and managing original IP across all aspects of the business.
Since assuming his content leadership role in 2008, Sorcher's innovative approaches to development have unleashed a new wave of contemporary animation. Pop culture hits such as the Primetime Emmy® Award-winning Regular Show and the Emmy-nominated Adventure Time have been combined with properties developed by a diverse array of new storytelling sources, including the YouTube-inspired Annoying Orange and the 2012 phenomenon LEGO Ninjago. These new properties have translated to the highest ratings in the network's 20-year history, and propelled Cartoon Network to become the #1 television destination for young males on TV and online.
Most recently, Sorcher was executive vice president of programming and production for AMC Network, where he oversaw program development and production, and supervised the scheduling and on-air presentation. He also served as executive producer for AMC's original programming, and is credited with leading the network to tremendous growth and critical acclaim by introducing scripted original programming to the network, including the Golden Globe and Emmy-winning television dramas Mad Men and Breaking Bad, and the Emmy-winning mini-series Broken Trail. Prior to joining AMC, Sorcher has served as executive vice president and general manager for USA Network, and executive vice president of programming and production for Fox Family Channel.
Mike Lazzo is widely known as the creator and architect of the innovative Adult Swim, basic cable’s #1 network with Adults 18-24 and 18-34. Prior to today’s announcement, he was senior vice president, programming and production, for Adult Swim and Williams Street Studios, overseeing all development and production of original programming as well as strategic acquisitions for the network’s programming slate.
Lazzo started his career with Cartoon Network when it was launched in October 1992, serving first as program executive and subsequently director, vice president and senior vice president of programming. In these roles, he was responsible for the evaluation and planning of all animated content as it related to programming, as well as for the day-to-day scheduling and program operations of the network’s domestic feed.
He also played a supervisory role in the development of original productions for the network, including projects such as Samurai Jack, The Powerpuff Girls, Courage the Cowardly Dog, Samurai Jack, Dexter’s Laboratory, Cow and Chicken, Ed, Edd n Eddy and Johnny Bravo.
In 2001, he launched Adult Swim originally as a twice a week, two-hour block of programming that has now grown and evolved into one of the most successful networks in the industry today. While at Adult Swim he has overseen the development of such hits as the Emmy-winning series Robot Chicken and Childrens Hospital, along with Aqua Teen Hunger Force, The Boondocks, Squidbillies, NTSF:SD:SUV, Eagleheart and Black Dynamite.
Cartoon Network (CartoonNetwork.com) consistently is the #1 U.S. television network among boys 6-11. Currently seen in nearly 100 million U.S. homes and 194 countries around the world, Cartoon Network is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.’s ad-supported cable service now available in HD offering the best in original, acquired and classic entertainment for kids and families. In addition to Emmy-winning original programming and industry-leading digital apps and online games, Cartoon Network embraces key social issues affecting families with solution-oriented initiatives such as Stop Bullying: Speak Up and the Move It Movement.
Adult Swim (AdultSwim.com), launched in 2001, is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.’s network offering original and acquired programming for young adults and has been the number one basic cable network for the past eight years. Airing nightly from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. (ET, PT), Adult Swim shares channel space with Cartoon Network.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news; entertainment; animation and young adult; and sports media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.
Source: Turner Broadcasting System
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.