New York-based Sideshow Creative has hired senior producer Bennett Lieber. He will produce both commercial editorial, graphics and visual effects and broadcast design projects.
Universal Studios Hollywood has named veteran theme park executive Tim Runco, vp, entertainment, and has brought attraction designer John Murdy back to the company as creative director, entertainment production.
Jim Morris, president of Lucas Digital for 11 years, is heading south to produce computer-animated movies. Chrissie England, svp of production at ILM, has been promoted to president of ILM.
Jim, Chrissie and their team at ILM have been working hard over the last 18 months to implement sweeping changes in both the operations and structure of ILM, commented Lucasfilm Ltd. president Micheline Chau. Now that those initiatives have been launched, Jim is taking this opportunity to move on to other areas of the entertainment business.
Viacom chairman/ceo Sumner M. Redstone announced today the promotion of four key members of the company's senior management team to evp, including Carl D. Folta, head of corporate relations; Carol A. Melton, in charge of government relations; William Roskin, overseeing human resources and administration and Martin M. Shea, head of investor relations. They all report directly to Redstone.
Nicholas Longano, previously of Vivendi Universal Games, has been named chief marketing officer of Massive Inc., the creator of the world's first video game advertising network. As cmo, Longano will be responsible for continuing to expand Massive's dominant leadership position in the in-game advertising market by building the largest network of publishers and titles into a recognized and legitimized media solution for advertisers.
DIC Ent. (DIC) has named Hasbro veteran Michael Verrecchia to the position of svp of marketing. In his new position, Verrecchia 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.
AWN has learned that Pam Coats contract has not been renewed as svp of creative development at Walt Disney Feature Animation. Meanwhile, Susan Butterworth has been in charge of development since January.
Ron Geraci has been promoted from up to svp of research for Nickelodeon, overseeing all programming and advertising sales research for Nickelodeon and digital channels Noggin, The N, Nickelodeon Games and Sports (Nick GAS) and Nektons.
"Ron is a well-respected and talented executive who continually succeeds in keeping the entire Nickelodeon network abreast of audience and competitive research," said Laura E. Wendt, svp of research, Nickelodeon Networks, to whom he reports. "His new role acknowledges his expertise and contribution to the success of the network."
Marc Buhaj has been named vp, programming and scheduling for Cartoon Network and Boomerang, based in Atlanta. Buhaj moves from his previous Turner post in Hong Kong to direct all aspects of programming for the two networks, including scheduling, on-air event planning and program operations.
Walt Disney Television Animation (WDTVA) has named Meredith Metz, svp, creative affairs, and has promoted Lisa Salamone Smith to svp, production.
"Being able to bring Meredith to WDTVA to lead our development efforts is especially meaningful," said Barry Blumberg, WDTVA president, to whom they both will report. "Her vast experience and exceptional eye for creative, innovative projects are a winning combination that will make her a valuable addition to our team."
Bill Desowitz interviews Incredibles director Brad Bird, supervising technical director Rick Sayre and effects supervisor Sandra Karpman about bringing human CG superheroes to the big screen.
Paramount Pictures chairman Sherry Lansing announced that she would be leaving her post when her contract is up at the end of next year. Serving in the position since 1992, she has become the top female exec in the industry. She says that her decision is not due to the studios slipping box office, but a part of her plan to pursue philanthropy or political interests.
Alias has appointed former Kaydara president Michel Besner as vp, business development - emerging markets. Besner's appointment follows the recent completion of Alias' acquisition of Kaydara, renowned for MotionBuilder and FBX character animation technology. As a member of the Alias executive management team, Besner will be responsible for identifying strategic opportunities in the growing market of 3D interactive applications.
Phillip Miller has been appointed evp of business development of mental images U.S. subsidiary, mental images Inc. Miller joins mental images with a noteworthy career of defining and promoting leading software solutions at Autodesk, Discreet, and Instant Effects in addition to architectural design.
Michele Ganeless has been appointed evp/gm of Comedy Central, reporting directly to networks president Doug Herzog and will be based in New York. She rejoins the comedy network from her previous position of evp/gm of the USA Network where she worked closely with Herzog, then president/ceo.
Ganeless oversees all programming and marketing functions, which encompasses programming, co-productions, consumer and trade marketing and advertising, creative services, on-air promotion, acquisitions, audience research, scheduling and new business.
Janet Eng joins Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) as sales director, Asia. Based at SPTI's offices in Singapore, Eng will provide a number of markets, including Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines, with a closer, more systematic presence. She will also pursue the sourcing of local content, and will maximize the licensing of formats and support the development of production arrangements in those markets.
Audrey Steele has been promoted from vp to svp, sales research and marketing for FOX Broadcasting Co., responsible for marketing FOXs sales and programming strategy to the advertising community through development of sales positioning, materials and primary research.
Audrey is a creative researcher, a gifted presenter, a skilled administrator and a pleasure to work with, said Jon Nesvig, president of sales for the network, to whom she will report. We are pleased to be able to further recognize her contributions to FOX's sales efforts.
Just as HIT Ent. announced its plans to launch a 24-hour digital cable television channel for preschool children with Comcast Corp., PBS and Sesame Workshop, Rob Lawes left his job as HIT ceo. Peter Orton, chairman/founder of HIT has taken over as interim chief executive.
Danny Goldman has been promoted to the created position of vp/gm London Sales for Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI). Goldman assumes direct management of the team of London-based international sales executives and the oversight of Northern and Central/Eastern European sales territories, as well as Africa and the Middle East.
His portfolio already includes sales distribution of SPTI product throughout the U.K. and Ireland. He continues to be based at SPTI's European headquarters in London.
Isaac Perlmutter, 61, has been promoted from vice chairman to ceo of Marvel Enterprises, effective Jan. 1, 2005. He will replace president/ceo Allen S. Lipson, 61, who has decided to retire after more than five years with the company.
Perlmutter has been actively involved in the management of Marvel since acquiring its predecessor in 1990. He has served as a director since 1993, served as chairman of the board from 1993 to 1995, and was named vice chairman of the board in 2001. All Marvel division heads will report directly to Perlmutter.
Michael Franzi has been appointed vp of sales for THX Ltd., responsible for defining sales strategy, building partnerships with consumer electronics and entertainment companies, and guiding worldwide sales efforts.
Franzi, a seasoned executive with more two decades of sales management experience, brings to THX a successful track record of developing global sales channels and establishing strong customer alliances at leading technology and communications companies.
Rushes Postproduction Ltd. has appointed Danny Jones as senior producer. As well as fulfilling his day-to-day responsibilities as Senior Producer, Jones will help to ensure clients understand the full range of options available to them across Rushes HD, SD, inferno, flame, fire and 2K Spirit and C Reality suites.