Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment veteran exec Mike Dunn is taking over as president of the unit responsible for the sales, marketing and distribution of all Fox film and television programming on DVD and VHS in North America. He replaces Pat Wyatt who resigned a few months ago to produce anime DVD premiere movies. Dunn, who was EVP of sales and marketing after a 16-year career with Fox, will report directly to Fox Filmed Entertainment chairmen Tom Rothman and Jim Gianopulos.
Sesame Workshop adds Jaime Greenberg as VP of philanthropic development to spearhead efforts to gain support from foundations, corporations and individuals for the Workshop's programs and initiatives. Greenberg answers to Sherrie Rollins Westin, EVP of corporate affairs, education and development. Previously, Greenberg was at pubcaster Thirteen/WNET New York, where she led fundraising efforts for their national and local productions as well as education outreach projects.
Gerhard Zeiler, CEO of RTL Television in Germany since November 1998, is also now CEO of parent company and pan-European broadcaster RTL Group. He replaces Didier Bellens who departed recently to head Belgacom, a Belgian state-owned telecommunications company. Zeiler plans to run the Group headquartered in Luxembourg, and the channel in Cologne. Zeiler has been a member of the board of the Bertelsmann Foundation since September 2002 as well as on the board of M6 for the past year. Bertelsmann owns 90% of RTL, so some had speculated a Bertelsmann insider would likely take over RTL.
It's musical chairs again at Fox Kids Europe as Paul Taylor lands in Marc-Antonie d'Halluin's chair, replacing the exiting d'Halluin as new group managing director of channels and EVP. This takes effect March 17, reporting directly to Bruce Steinberg, CEO of FKE. Taylor will be responsible for local channel operations throughout Europe, working with the country managing directors to maximize opportunities for the company's integrated structure. He will also oversee pan-European advertising sales operations.
R!OT Santa Monica has promoted Diana Young from associate producer to visual effects producer for commercials and music videos. Young, a 10-year post-production vet, joined R!OT in 1999. Previously she worked at 525 Post Production, the Post Group in Hollywood and Pascal Video. Her credits at R!OT include spots for Skittles, Hamburger Helper, Suzuki and Skyy Blue and she co-produced a two-minute montage that kicked off THE X-FILES final season.
Martin Weigold, CFO of Fox Kids Europe, will remain seated in his position for another two years in the game of musical chairs underway at the broadcaster ever since the Walt Disney Company bought a majority interest in FKE. Weigold has been with FKE since 1999. Previously Weigold was VP of finance at Walt Disney TV Int'l and served on the board of Super RTL, the German free-to-air broadcaster.
Steven Andrew has been chosen to replace exiting controller of children's and youth programming Janie Grace at ITV. He will report to ITV director of programs, Nigel Pickard. Andrew spent five years at Granada Kids, one of the largest producers of kids programming in the U.K., and was responsible for many programs broadcast on CiTV (the children's segment of ITV). This is Pickard's first appointment since he rejoined the British broadcaster after a recent stint at the BBC.
Mark Ordesky's dedication and love for THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy and the success of the film franchise to New Line Productions' bottom line has been rewarded by his promotion to XVP/COO. In the new post, he will remain in Los Angeles overseeing the operations of the production staff. Fine Line Pictures' execs and acquisitions staff will continue to report to Ordesky as well. Ordesky started at New Line Cinema a decade ago as a script reader and worked his way up the ladder.
Sony Computer Entertainment America has promoted Frank O'Malley from director to VP of sales. With more than 35 years of business experience and 24 in sales directly, O'Malley is credited with having played a key role in developing and expanding the company's retail and distribution infrastructure and relations, especially responding to the introduction to the PlayStation game console in 1995. He will oversee all sales relations in North American for the PlayStation business, reporting directly to Jack Tretton, EVP of SCEA.
Former Harvey head Rick Mischel takes the reigns as CEO of Mainframe Entertainment, the pioneering computer animation studio in Canada. He replaces Brett Gannon, who stepped down as president in October 2002 for medical reasons. Mischel will be based at the company's headquarters in Vancouver, overseeing production, development, distribution, licensing, operations and business affairs. "We are looking to Rick to expand our computer graphics animation expertise beyond television and into new areas such as feature films.
Animation industry veteran Max Howard has joined SecondSun Entertainment's board of directors. Howard is chairman/CEO/founder of Melwood Pictures, a Hollywood-based producer of animation and live-action films. Formerly he was president of feature animation at Warner Bros., a SVP at The Walt Disney Co. and, most recently, a producer at DreamWorks where he helped develop and produce SPIRIT, STALLION OF THE CIMARRON amongst the DreamWorks slate. While he was at Warner Bros., the studio produced THE IRON GIANT, QUEST FOR CAMELOT and SPACE JAM.
Disney director Steve Trenbirth joins Mad Cow Pictures founder Steve Sagovac as co-owner of the Australian animation company. Before directing JUNGLE BOOK 2, Trenbirth was animation director on Disneys Annie Award nominated LADY & THE TRAMP 2 and Annie Award winning LION KING 2. Mad Cow offers Flash and traditional animation services, specializing in character design/development, storyboards, Leica reels and is developing its own projects including OOSTEVEN: PLAYGROUND PRIVATE EYE and LEEROY & LOU-ANNE.
In response to the greater number of adults tuning into Cartoon Network, the channel has moved Mike Lazzo from SVP of programming to SVP of its ADULT SWIM programming franchise. And in a move that's been in the works for some time, it was confirmed by a Cartoon Network spokesperson that Linda Simensky, SVP of original animation, will move from Turner headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia to the Cartoon Network Studio in Burbank, California to look after new programming initiatives for 2003.
Paul Golden is onboard at Vinton Studios in Portland, Oregon to spearhead its commercial division as the new president of advertising. Golden's mandate is to encourage the advertising community to turn to Vinton Studios for its variety of abilities including CGI, cel animation, live-action and motion graphics. "I want to correct the general misperception that we're all about clay," said Golden. He also plans to emphasize the individual directors and their unique styles rather than the studio as a whole.
Burbank, California-based Craig Murray Productions has brought on board Richard Redfield as president/executive creative director of CMP/West, to oversee its operations in West Los Angeles. CMP and CMP/West specialize in creating motion picture trailer, TV and print campaigns. Redfield is a veteran trailer producer with more than 200 campaigns to his credit. Most recently, Redfield was a creative director at Harley's House where he directed the advertising efforts on such films as OCEAN'S ELEVEN, AUSTIN POWERS IN GOLDMEMBER and TWO WEEKS NOTICE.
AOL Time Warner announced today that it is replacing Jamie Kellner, who headed its networks, with Philip I. Kent, a Turner Broadcasting System veteran, who rejoins Turner as its chairman/CEO. He will report to Jeffrey Bewkes, Chairman of AOL Time Warner's Entertainment & Networks Group. Jamie Kellner, who has led Turner for the past two years in Atlanta, will return to California and continue as chairman/CEO of The WB Network through the end of his employment agreement in the summer of 2004, according to the AOL Time Warner release.
Former HIT Entertainment licensing executive Stephen Gould joins Saban Consumer Products Europe (SCPE) as licensing director of its U.K. arm. Gould reports to Ian Downes, managing director for SCPE, the consumer products division of Fox Kids Europe. Gould is responsible for sales, promotions, marketing and advertising Fox Kids Europe-owned and third party properties in the U.K. and Ireland. He will also source new properties for European representation and be involved with deals with SCPE's six other European offices.
Newly-formed digital film finishing boutique iO Film adds Adam Hawkey as a lead compositor and color timer. Prior to joining iO Film, Hawkey has been freelancing at effects and post-production houses in Hollywood, including Rhythm & Hues, Amalgamated Pixels and Catalyst FX. Hawkey helped create and run THE WUBBULOUS WORLD OF DR. SEUSS, the first virtual set television show for Jim Henson Productions and Nickelodeon.
Fox Kids Europe (FKE) has promoted Oliver Fryer from director of legal and business affairs to general counsel, responsible for FKE's contractual, legal and business affairs issues, legal outsourcing, corporate governance and the company's legal team. Fryer replaces Kate Trinder (who held the post for five years) and reports to Bruce Steinberg, CEO. Fryer worked for Herbert Smith, the Simkins Partnership and Zenith Entertainment before joining FKE in June 2001.
Creative editorial company Lost Planet has added editors Saar Klein and Peter Mostert. Kleins notable feature film credits include THE THIN RED LINE, which earned him an Academy Award nomination; the 2000 film ALMOST FAMOUS, which won him an ACE award and another Academy Award nomination; and the 2002 action film THE BOURNE IDENTITY.
NYC-based Classic Media has appointed former AOL Time Warner exec Robert Friedman president to take its well-known properties such as Underdog, Lassie and The Lone Ranger and create new value out of them across film, television and video. Friedman will also be looking to license these characters to companies such as breakfast-cereal manufacturers for advertising and tie-ins. Friedman started his TV career in the 1980s in the original development team that created MTV, VH1 and Nickelodeon.
Veteran media executive Allan Grafman joins Archie Comics Entertainment as president to expand the company's worldwide operations. His mandate is to increase the media exploitation of such characters as Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Josie and the Pussycats. Several Archie characters have been developed for films and TV shows, which Grafman will pursue as well as opportunities in video, video games, music, live events and licensing. Grafman led the turnaround and restructuring of Hallmark Entertainment where he served as XVP.
CINAR Corp. has named former WWF Entertainment head Stuart C. Snyder its new president and CEO. Snyder has extensive management experience in video, television, film, animation and live-action entertainment, as well as contacts in the production and distribution communities plus retail and licensing. The CINAR board is counting on Snyder to return the entertainment division to profitability and broaden the range of family products.
Janie Grace, controller of children's and youth programming at ITV, a leading broadcaster in the U.K., has quit '"by mutual agreement" shortly before the arrival of new director of programs Nigel Pickard. Grace leaves the position after two and a half years but declined to comment on her reasons for leaving. Grace and Pickard were colleagues at TVS in the '80s. She went on to head up Nickelodeon U.K. while Pickard took charge of CiTV, the children's arm of ITV. Grace later replaced Pickard at CiTV when he went on to the BBC.
Candyce Ayn-Lund has signed on as director of business development for Atlanta-based animation firm DAGNABIT! and will represent the company to the advertising and entertainment markets. Most recently, Ayn-Lund was director of new media and broadcast development for the Atlanta studio of NY-based design house Click3X. Prior to joining Click3X, Ayn-Lund was an account manager at post-production facility Crawford Communications, where she oversaw many long and short format projects for CNN, TNT, Cartoon Network, TCM, Turner South and Turner Sports. DAGNABIT!