Janet Hetherington takes a look at Sonys new PlayStation Portable and the challenges of creating big games for the small screen.
NewTek Inc. has named Jay Roth president of the 3D graphics division of the company. Roth, co-founder and former CEO of Electric Image Inc., has 25 years experience in the 3D visual effects and graphics industry. In his new role Roth will oversee the expansion of the 3D product line, the advancement of technical innovation in LightWave 3D, along with sales and marketing efforts relating to NewTeks 3D graphics offerings.
Mark Lasoff has joined Alias Santa Barbara, California-based Custom Development Center (CDC) as entertainment consulting manager. In his new role at the CDC, Lasoff will work with Alias' software engineers to design and implement new workflow tools and custom software solutions for production facilities and key customers that rely heavily on the Maya, Alias MotionBuilder, and Alias SketchBook Pro family of products.
Helen Blayney joins Celador International as senior sales manger, kids division, where she will be responsible for sales of the companys growing portfolio of childrens programming, including ROOBARB & CUSTARD and TALES OF THE RIVERBANK. Blayney reports to Cathy Laughton, who joined London-based Celador Intl in February 2005 as head of kids programming to champion of its new kids division, Celador International Kids.
Bob Feldman joins DreamWorks Animation SKG in Glendale, California, as head of corporate communications. DreamWorks Animation was recently spun off as a publicly traded company listed on the New York Stock Exchange (DWA) from the private company DreamWorks SKG. Feldman reports to Jeffrey Katzenberg and Ann Daly, the company's chief executive and chief operating officers.
John Cohen has been promoted from director of development to vp of production at Twentieth Century Fox Animation and continues to report to Chris Meledandri, president of the Fox Animation unit.
Buena Vista International Television (BVITV) has promoted four senior members of its sales teams in Europe. Carsten Fink, based in Munich, Damian Newton, in London and Francesca Tauriello, in Rome, have been promoted to vice president, sales & distribution, German-speaking Europe, vice president, sales, Pay TV/New Technologies and executive director, sales, Northern Mediterranean markets respectively. Tatjana Vucanovic has also been promoted, to executive director, sales, Central & Eastern Europe.
Paramount Pictures new management team under chairman and ceo Brad Grey has promoted Alli Shearmur to co-president, production.
Shearmur, formerly an evp of production at Paramount, will oversee the day-to-day development and production of the studio's annual slate of films and literary acquisitions. Shearmur will report to president Gail Berman, who officially starts in May.
After 13 years as head of international sales, Nelvana has promoted Emmanuele Petry to the new role of overseeing European development and international co-production.
"Emma has done an outstanding job building Nelvana's business in Europe and establishing important relationships with all of our key broadcasters," said Doug Murphy, evp business development.
Licensing and merchandising industry veteran Caren Shalek is joining family entertainment company PorchLight Ent. as svp, consumer products with the mandate to build an expanded consumer product representation business focusing on childrens and family brands.
DIC Ent. (DIC) has promoted Jedd Gold to vp of marketing. In his new position, Gold will oversee all marketing and promotional initiatives for DIC, including marketing strategies for the company's brand properties STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE and the upcoming release of TROLLZ. He will be responsible for creating and executing multi-layered retail and consumer campaigns, including advertising, promotions and publicity. Gold will manage the efforts of DIC's internal marketing team and outside vendors.
Dorothy Prior is leaving her post as head of Children's BBC after two years to become controller of production resources in May, reporting to director general Mark Thompson, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.
The pubcaster is searching for her successor, who will take on the sprawling BBC children's activities, which includes commissioning and scheduling a hefty slate, as well as run preschool web CBeebies and CBBC, aimed at older kids.
Children's shows are also big overseas earners for commercial arm BBC Worldwide, making the job all the more important.
Josh Fisher has been promoted to cp creative affairs at Mike Young Productions (MYP)/Taffy, the Los Angeles- and London-based indie animation house while Maura Sullivan has also been promoted from studio production manager to vp operations at the company.
Fisher who has been with the company for two years He will report to company principals Mike Young, Liz Young and Bill Schultz on upcoming productions, as well as liaise with international network partners.
Betty Cohen, former head and founder of Cartoon Network, has been named president/ceo of Lifetime Entertainment Services. In her new position, which she officially assumes April 26,2005.Cohen will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the media brand for women, including, advertising sales, affiliate sales, research, programming, strategic planning and operations.
David Ferguson resigned his position as a member of TV-Loonland's managing board on March 21, 2005, when his three-year contract was set to expire. As TV-Loonland Group's coo and president of Core Activities since March 2002, Ferguson played a crucial role in its development into an independent major in the international entertainment and media industry.
"We thank David Ferguson for his outstanding work for the company and for the successful cooperation, said TV-Loonland ceo Selma Käppel. We wish him much success and all the best in his new pursuits."
Larry Kramer has been named president, CBS Digital Media, a newly created division encompassing all online operations and developing new media business.
The HP board of directors unanimously selected Mark Hurd to serve as the company's ceo/president. Hurd takes up his new duties on April 1, 2005, and joins HP's board. He succeeds Robert Wayman, a 36-year company veteran who has been cfo since 1984 and was named interim ceo in February 2005. Wayman, 59, will remain cfo and continue to serve as a member of HP's board.
Joanne Burns has been promoted from svp to the newly created position of evp, sales marketing, research and new media, of Twentieth Television. She will oversee all first-run and off-net program research activities, be heavily involved in the development and creation of program sales marketing initiatives and identify new media opportunities on behalf of the company.
Henry Turner delves into how JPL is using visual effects to advance science in the area of space exploration.
Janine Bottazzi has been promoted to producer at the visual effects and animation studio Guava. Bottazzi, who has been with the company since its founding in 2002, will oversee visual effects and animation work for commercials, music videos and other media, and serve as a liaison between clients and Guavas artistic staff. Her current projects include commercials for Coldwell Banker and Neutrogena.
Quick on the heels of the news earlier this week that Fox Broadcasting Co. entertainment chief Gail Berman ankled her post at the network to become a top creative player at Paramount Pictures, comes the announcement that Peter Liguori has been named to replace her as president, entertainment. Liguori will be responsible for all FOX program development and scheduling, as well as marketing, business affairs and promotions.
Ex-Disney TV Intl chief David Hulbert has found a lovely new home to head as chief exec of Hallmark International Channel network. The network itself is taking up a new home with Sparrowhawk, the media group that is in the process with Providence Equity Partners and 3i of buying the Hallmark Intl Channel from Crown Media Holdings.
The Hallmark International Channel network has more than 60 million subscribers worldwide, the international rights to more than 580 titles in the Crown Media library and a state-of-the-art broadcast facility in Denver, Colorado.
With contract negotiations coming to an impasse with company owner and board chairman Phil Knight, Jeff Farnath, ceo of Vinton Studios, will be leaving the Portland, Ore.-based animation house. Bob Harold, a Vinton board member and 18-year Nike Inc. finance exec, will act as interim CEO until Farnath can find a permanent replacement. Farnath will remain under contract with the house as a consultant.
Buena Vista International Television (BVITV) has promoted Catherine Powell to sales director, U.K. & Ireland. She will be responsible for leading the U.K. free and pay TV distribution of BVITV s portfolio of entertainment, which includes drama and comedy network series such as DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES and LOST, Disney branded kids content, movies (such as the upcoming THE HITCHHIKER S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY) and ABC News programming. BVITV also services the distribution of the Jetix portfolio of programming.