Leading interactive agency, animation studio and content creator Hatchling Studios has announced that Mark Samber, formerly Managing Director of Wunderkind Studios, has joined the company as president. Samber will oversee all aspects of the company, from client acquisition and retention to internal operations and client strategy, allowing Hatchling founder, CEO and Chief Creative Officer Marc Dole to focus exclusively on driving the company's creative services.
Jim Ward, President of LucasArts, is leaving the gaming firm, reports IGN. Ward, who is leaving for personal reasons, will finish up his work over the next two weeks. Howard Roffman, President of Lucas Licensing, will take over Ward's duties until a replacement can be found.
Image Ent. Corp. announced the hiring of Bonita Siegel, former director of original productions for the Corus Kids channels. In her new position as creative producer and head of development, Siegel will produce and develop television and film content for Image Ent.
Based in Montreal, Image is run by Sylvain Viau and has co-produced with Paris-based Marathon Media several hit series on Teletoon or YTV, including TOTALLY SPIES, MARTIN MYSTERY and MONSTER BUSTER CLUB among others.
Radar Cartoons announced the addition of John Hardman, former SVP of Programming at the Kids' WB! Formed in 2004, Radar packages show concepts for sale to networks and co-productions and serves as a consultancy firm to animation studios, games companies and think tanks, helping them grow original content into global brands.
Frantic Films VFX, recently acquired by Prime Focus Group, has hired Kenneth Nakada to spearhead the company's new digital mattes & concepts division.
The Walt Disney Co. Board of Directors announced today that it had signed President and CEO Robert A. Iger to a new five-year contract. Igers previous contract would have expired on Sept. 30, 2010. The new contract will end on Jan. 31, 2013.
Former Nickelodeon exec Eric Coleman has been named SVP, Development, for Walt Disney Television Animation, it was announced by Gary Marsh, President, Entertainment, Disney Channels Worldwide, to whom Coleman will report. Coleman joins Disney after 15 years at Nickelodeon, where he most recently was VP and Exec Producer, Animation Development and Production, and was the Exec in Charge of Production on the iconic series SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS, among others.
Former Nickelodeon Exec Creative Director of Preschool Television Brown Johnson has been promoted to the newly created position of President, Animation, Nickelodeon and MTVN Kids and Family Group.
Kabillion, the multi-platform kids' entertainment program service, today announced that Rebecca Agbe-Davies has been appointed Director of Programming and Development. Agbe-Davies will also be part of Kabillion's first-ever contingent to attend the NATPE Conference in Las Vegas beginning Jan. 28.
In her new role, Agbe-Davies will oversee content acquisitions and scheduling for the On Demand and online (www.Kabillion.com) platforms, in addition to liaising with MSOs, collaborating with artists and animators to execute branded packaging, and coordinating project financing.
Producer Jon Berg has been named SVP, Production, Warner Bros. Pictures.
In his new post, Berg will join the studio's senior motion picture production ranks and oversee a number of films each year through each stage of development and production, working closely with writers, producers, directors and third-party production entities that Warner Bros. Pictures partners with on various releases.
Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP) today announced that Heather Meeker has been appointed as Director of Worldwide Public Relations. In this role, Meeker will act as the day-to-day strategic executive guiding the public relations activities on behalf of WBCP worldwide.
Former BBC executive Wayne Dunsford has been appointed general manager of preschool channel JimJam, C21 MEDIA reports.
Dunsford has a longtime association with JimJam and was instrumental in establishing the joint venture between Hit Ent. and Chellomedia. In the role of general manager, he'll be responsible for supervising the partnership, as well as coordinating the channel's business activities and worldwide distribution.
Award-winning animation studio Brown Bag Films has announced that Alan Gregg, former VP of the kids division at Alliance Atlantis, has joined the company as VP, International Production. Working closely with Director of Development Gerald Murphy, Gregg will oversee the expansion of the company's development slate in both television and feature films with an emphasis on preschool, family and tween properties. He reports to Cathal Gaffney, Managing Director, and will be working out of the newly-opened Toronto office.
Cable marketing veteran Joanna Lisanti has been named VP of Marketing for kids TV and online entertainment service qubo. In this role, Lisanti will oversee all aspects of ad sales, affiliate and consumer marketing, and will help build awareness of qubo's on-air and online program offerings that promote literacy, positive values and the possibilities of a child's imagination.
With EM.Entertainment on the auction block, the company's managing director Susanne Schosser has left the company. Parent EM.Sport Media has been trying to sell the children's entertainment company and on Wednesday cut its asking price from 90 million Euros to 59 million.
EM.Entertainment's net profit dropped to $880,000 over the first nine months of 2007, having made $4.5 million in the same time frame the previous year.
Schosser was head of programming for Super RTL before coming to EM.TV in 2005.
Adina Pitt has been named vice president, content acquisitions and co-productions for Cartoon Network and Boomerang, it was announced today. In her new role, Pitt will be responsible for identifying, negotiating and acquiring pre-produced series, specials, movies and short-form product that fit the Cartoon Network and Boomerang brands for exposure on all platforms. She'll continue to oversee those programs once they have been acquired and positioned at each of the networks.
Stephen Moore, Aardman Animations' head of features/COO, has ankled his post now that his two-year contract is up, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Aardman co-founder David Sproxton will take over Moore's role in the company.
The former 20th Century Fox president of international was hired in January 2006 to help conclude Aardman's distribution deal with DreamWorks and secure a new agreement. In April 2007, Moore sealed an exclusive three-year, first-look deal with Sony Pictures.
Moore will move on to work on several projects he has in development.
Phoenix Editorial & Designs has recruited motion graphics and visual effects artist Phil Spitler. The 15-year industry vet has worked with major ad agencies and prestigious clients in both the US and in his native England, where he was a founding partner of leading motion graphics studio Keyframe.
Cookie Jar Ent. has appointed Kirsten Hurd sales executive, it was announced today by Jean-Michel Ciszewski, SVP Head of International Sales and Co-Productions. Based in Cookie Jar's Toronto's headquarters, Hurd will be responsible for library and new programming sales.
In a move designed to drive the company through its next phase of growth and consolidation, Spanish animation company Zinkia has appointed Fernando de Miguel CEO.
De Miguel brings a wealth of corporate finance and business development expertise to the company, having worked over the last 15 years with a gamut of prestigious new technology, media and audiovisual companies.
Aniboom (www.aniboom.com) announced that it has appointed four key senior executives to its advisory board whose leadership spans television, new media and mobile industries.
The advisors include: Barbara Corday, a top American television executive; Peter Hirshberg, Chairman/CMO of Technorati and leading new media and technology entrepreneur and marketing innovator; John Mass, EVP/Head of Business Development and New Ventures for William Morris Agency; and Mauro Del Rio, founder and chairman of Buongiorno S.p.A., a leading global mobile entertainment company.
U.K.-based The Licensing Company (TLC) and Biplano, licensing and promotional marketing company for Southern Europe, have appointed Gemma Woodward as DreamWork Animation's European Brand Manager working within its Entertainment division. Previously employed at Dorling Kindersley Ltd, Sharpcards Ltd and Entertainment Rights PLC, Woodward will apply her expertise to meet the needs of DreamWorks and TLC UK, France and Germany and Biplano in Spain, to ensure a smooth and successful working relationship.
Curious Pictures has announced two changes to the studio's directorial roster, both of which reflect changes in directorial teams.
Chuck Dages, who oversees Emerging Technology for Warner Bros., has been shifted from Technical Operations to Warner Bros. Home Ent. Group. He retains the title of EVP and continues to have oversight of Motion Picture Imaging (the studio's postproduction facility for film mastering, restoration and digital imaging for movies and television) and the Advanced Media Editorial department (which prepares feature films for distribution on airlines, cable networks and broadcast television).