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Exec Headline News

Spin Master Entertainment Appoints Bakugan Exec Producer

Spin Master Ent., the new entertainment division of Spin Master Ltd., has appointed Jennifer Picherack in the role of exec producer for BAKUGAN BATTLE BRAWLERS.

Based out of Spin Master's Toronto headquarters, Picherack will work with EP Matt Wexler to develop and produce original content for the division. The pair are charged with the company's television and feature film development, production and acquisition activities.

Headline News

Image Metrics Expands Team

Image Metrics came to GDC to show off its facial animation solutions (with new rigging) and to host a tech talk on its services titled "End Helmet Tyranny" tomorrow from 4:30-5:30 p.m. in room 2000. However, it's also assembled a new team of industry professionals with extensive experience bringing videogames and its technology to market.

Fund Headline News

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund Names New Board

At this weekend's ComicsPRO Annual Meeting, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund announced changes to its Board of Directors. After five years of service as President and seven years on the Board, Chris Staros has stepped down from the organization to devote more time to the growth of Top Shelf Prods. Chris Powell, General Manager of Lone Star Comics, and President Pro-Tem of ComicsPRO, will take over the presidency.

Licensing Headline News

Studio100 Media Appoints Head of Marketing, Merchandising & Licensing

Studio100 Media, a subsidiary of Belgium's family entertainment group Studio100, has appointed Peter Kleinschmidt as Director Marketing, Licensing & Merchandising as of March 2009. Most recently he served as Managing Director for CTM Concept -- TV & Merchandising based in Munich.

Team Headline News

Original Fallout Designer Jason Anderson to Join inXile Team

Jason Anderson, one of the original FALLOUT design team members, has joined the inXile Entertainment as creative director for a new, unannounced role-playing game (RPG) from inXile. Anderson recently left Interplay, where in his second tenure there served as creative director working on the next generation MMO Project: V13.

Animation Headline News

Tim Sarnoff Joins Technicolor

Thomson has appointed Tim Sarnoff as president of its Technicolor Digital Productions division. This new division, within the Technicolor Business Group, will focus on the company's expertise in animation, games and visual effects. Its mission will be to develop Technicolor's animation operations in Bangalore and VFX operations in Beijing, as well as under the MPC brand in London, Los Angeles and Vancouver, into centers of excellence and growth.

Disney Headline News

Disney Channel EMEA Gets New Exec VP; Hardie Out

Giorgio Stock has been promoted to exec VP and managing director, Disney Channels, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and will lead The Walt Disney Company's portfolio of kid-focused, family inclusive television channels including Disney Channel, Playhouse Disney, Disney XD and Cinemagic, in the territory. He will also serve as a Disney representative on the board of SRTL, Disney's joint venture with RTL Group.

Production Headline News

Cookie Jar Ups Jamie Waese to Head of Current Programming

Cookie Jar Ent. has named Jamie Waese Head of Current Programming. Reporting to Pam Slavin, VP, Head of Production, he will handle all creative elements of the company's prolific production slate.

For the past four years, Waese has worked as a writer, producer and director for Cookie Jar Entertainment. He wrote, produced and directed three seasons of THE DOODLEBOPS, wrote and co-directed Doodlebops Live!, and produced and co-directed GOTTA CATCH SANTA CLAUS, Cookie Jar's first Christmas special starring William Shatner as the voice of Santa Claus.

Universal Headline News

Kennedy/Marshall Headed for Sony

THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall are set to leave Universal Pictures, per VARIETY, and will have a first-look deal at Columbia Pictures that starts April 1.

The frequent Steven Spielberg collaborators, who started their company in 1991, will be at Columbia for an 18-month term. Their last Universal film was THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM.

Headline News

Layoffs at Sesame Workshop Announced

Sesame Workshop will cut 20 percent of its workforce, another victim of the recession, according to VARIETY.

The nonprofit producer of SESAME STREET and other educational programming will eliminate 67 of its 355 positions.

Sesame debuted the still-running SESAME STREET in 1968 and recently premiered a remake of their popular 1970s series THE ELECTRIC COMPANY.

Production Headline News

Director Steve Chase Signs with Curious Pictures

Director Steve Chase, a top talent in the U.S. ad industry who has directed commercials for some of the world's most iconic brands and major ad agencies, has signed with Curious Pictures for commercial representation. A nominee for the DGA Award for commercial directing, and with a spot in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Chase joins Curious from Go Film.

To screen Chase's work, go to http://www.curiouspictures.com/reels/chasesteve_dir_reelh264.html.

Grading Headline News

Paul Harrison Joins MPC's Color Grading Department

MPC has signed award-winning colorist Paul Harrison to their team. Complimenting the talents of Jean-Clement Soret, Mark Gethin, George K and Kenny Gibb, Harrison joins as Senior Colorist. The team sheet includes some of the most highly respected international colorists and is lead by Jean-Clement Soret who graded Danny Boyle's multiple Oscar-winning SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE.

Film Headline News

Travis Knight Upped to President, CEO of LAIKA

LAIKA, the Portland-based animation studio whose first feature film, CORALINE, was released by Focus Features on February 6, has announced that Travis Knight has been named President and CEO of the company. Knight, the son of LAIKA's owner Philip H. Knight, succeeds Dale Wahl, who has held the position since 2005. Travis Knight, who sits on the LAIKA Board and has been Head of Animation since 2007, was one of the lead animators on CORALINE, the first stop-motion animated feature film to be produced in 3-D.

Headline News

WorldGaming Adds Exec Positions

Rob Segal and Kobi Ofir will join the WorldGaming as chief marketing officer and chief technology officer, respectively. Both Segal and Ofir will fill their positions immediately and join company co-founders Billy Levy, President, and Zack Zeldin, VP, as the company prepares for launch this spring.

WorldGaming will be an online destination for console gamers to network and challenge other players from around the world in tournaments for real money.

Production Headline News

Tweak Software Hires Alan Trombla as Director of Product Development

Tweak Software, developers of RV, the image and sequence viewer for animation and visual effects, have hired visual effects industry veteran Alan Trombla. Trombla, who has worked at all levels of visual effects and digital animation production from writing software and managing large engineering teams to lighting shots and leading CG productions, joins Tweak Software as Director of Product Development.

Headline News

DHX Media Announces Several Management Changes

DECODE Ent. President Steven DeNure will become president and chief operating officer of DHX Media. His duties will include overseeing operations across all of the company's divisions. In addition DeNure will oversee the three kid-focused production units as well as DECODE Enterprises, the company's distribution division. His mandate will include increasing the synergies across the three entities, including the development, financing, production and support functions.

Disney Headline News

Disney U.K. SVP Leaves Company

Robert Mitchell, SVP and managing director of The Walt Disney Company's U.K. operations, has left the company, effective immediately, according to VARIETY.

Daniel Frigo will replace Mitchell and will continue his former job as exec VP and GM of Disney's Europe, Middle East and Africa operations. Mitchell had been with Disney since 1991, and representatives declined comment on his departure.

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