Stuart Snyder, president/ceo of CINAR Corp., will step down from his position after the special meeting of CINAR shareholders in Montreal on Feb. 17, 2004 regarding the acquisition of all outstanding shares of CINAR by an investor group comprised of Michael Hirsh, Toper Taylor and TD Capital Canadian Private Equity Partners. At that time the current board of directors will be replaced by persons representing the investor group and the employment contracts of some senior execs will be affected as well.
Former USA Films exec Ruth Pomerance is on board at IDT Entertainment as evp, production and development, to oversee the acquisition and development of all feature film projects. In addition, she will supervise creative and production activities in television, direct-to-video and other entertainment media.
Pomerance has held key executive positions at leading entertainment companies, including, USA Films, Artists Management Group, Kopelson Entertainment, Davis Entertainment and the William Morris Agency.
Mark Gray has resigned from his position as controller of program development Carlton International and will be leaving the company in early February 2004.
Gray joined CTE (Carlton) in 1995 as head of marketing and producer liaison, moving up to controller in 1999. He acquired new programming, largely in the U.K. independent sector, but also internationally, helping Carlton grow its catalog to more than 18,000 hours.
Marvel Enterprises Inc. has hired David Maisel as president and coo of Marvel Studios. He will work on expanding Marvel's success into new entertainment arenas as well as maximizing the commercial success of Marvel Studios' future feature film releases. Four feature films based on Marvel characters will be released in 2004: THE PUNISHER (Lions Gate, April 16), SPIDER-MAN 2 (Columbia, July 2), BLADE: TRINITY (New Line, Aug. 13) and MAN-THING (Artisan, October).
Responding to growing demand for short-form post-production services in Hollywood, Encore Hollywood has brought on board Mike Cosola, a colorist with broad experience in commercials.
Mike Cosola is one of the industrys most experienced colorists in the commercial market, said Encore HollywoodÊ sales exec Griffin Guess. He helps to strengthen Encores position as a pillar in the commercial market.
FX has hired former Jersey Television president and partner John Landgraf as president of entertainment. At FX, he will oversee of all development and production for original programming including series, films and new media.
Peter Liguori, president and ceo, FX Networks, said, "John Landgraf is the perfect fit for FX and a great addition to the network. I'm excited about working with someone of John's impeccable reputation and great programming instincts, and I'm confident that he will be an excellent creative partner."
Steven A. Hobbs will join Hearst-Argyle Television Inc. in the newly created position of svp/chief legal and development officer, effective January 21, 2004, reporting to Hearst-Argyle TV president/ceo David J. Barrett.
Cyma Zarghami, who has been instrumental in making Nickelodeon the highest-rated basic cable network in total day ratings for more than eight straight years, has been promoted to the newly created position of President, Nickelodeon Television. In her new role, Zarghami will oversee all of Nickelodeon's television businesses, adding the digital channel Noggin/The N, which is now in 40 million homes, to her responsibilities, while continuing to oversee Nickelodeon Games & Sports (GAS) and Nicktoons.
Vfx artist and editor Jay Tilin has joined R!OT Manhattan. Tilin, employing both Quantel's Henry and Discreet Logic's Fire, is known for his award-winning spot work as well as his long-form and music video finishing.
Interactive ad vet Francesca Cohn joined Ascent Media Creative Services Group in the newly-created post of director of strategic development, where will work to identify and develop new and innovative ways for advertising agencies and leading advertisers to make use of the creative and technical services offered by Ascent Media Creative Services companies, particularly Company 3, R!OT and POP Sound.
Andy Boyd is on board the Framestore CFC commercials team as senior technical director. Boyd joins the company after several highly successful years at Glassworks, where he worked on a broad variety of projects, from conventional CG character animations such as the Kit-E-Kat cat, through edgier avant-garde work for Chris Cunningham's Monitor-award winning MONKEY DRUMMER video, to more abstract work such as the extraordinary faux-microscopic life forms seen in the award-winning video for Bjork's NATURE IS ANCIENT.
THQ Inc. is expanding international operations with two new strategic appointments: Ian Curran, previously md of THQ UK, to the newly created position of vp, European Publishing and Martin Good as vp of Asia-Pacific Publishing.
Curran will oversee the company's expanding European operations including offices in England, Germany and France. Since joining THQ in late 2000, Curran has played a key role in growing the company's international revenues to more than 25% of its global sales.
Fox Television Ent. Group chairman Sandy Grushow announced on Jan. 5, 2004 he had resigned his post effective immediately to launch a Twentieth Century Fox-based production company called Phase Two. His contract was set to expire in summer 2004.
John S. Chen, chairman/ceo/president of Sybase Inc., will join the Walt Disney Co. board of directors in January 2004, as ex-members Roy Disney and Stan Gold continue to publicly criticize the board and its actions.
Animation veteran Stephanie Graziano (DreamWorks, Fox Kids, BKN Studios) joins North Hollywood-based Gang of 7 Animation as the eighth member of its power-packed team.
She will remain active with Graz Entertainment and there are no plans to change the name of Gang of 7 Animation (G7animation.com).
Allyson Taylor has joined the Starz corporate communications department in the newly created position of manager of public relations. Reporting to Eric Becker, exec director of corporate communications for Starz, Taylor will be responsible for coordinating and implementing local public relations campaigns, including working with cable and satellite affiliates to generate publicity for Starz On Demand, STARZ! HD and other advanced new product offerings from Starz as they enter the marketplace. She will also lend PR support for Starz promotional campaigns, sweepstakes, as well as other select consumer and affiliate activities and special events.
Taylor was director of communications for Dave & Buster's Inc., an operator of large-format entertainment complexes based in Dallas. Prior to that, she held a communications manager/asst vp position for Bank One.
Producer Donald De Line has been appointed vice chairman, Motion Picture Group and president, Paramount Pictures, effective Jan. 5, 2004. De Line replaces John Goldwyn, who is stepping down to become a producer at the studio in the wake of criticism that the feature slate has not only performed below expectation at the box office (including the disappointing LARA CROFT sequel), but also lacks Oscar prestige. Reporting to Sherry Lansing, chairman, Paramount Pictures, De Line is expected to pump up and diversify the studio's feature production slate during this three-year stint.
Kathy Vrabeck has been promoted to president of Activision Publishing and will oversee Activision's product development activities worldwide, including research and development and product acquisitions, as well as the company's global brand management operation. The reorganization also see Larry Goldberg exiting as evp of Worldwide Studios.
Veteran animator Becky Bristow has been named chair of the Digital Arts and Design program in the Software School of Beijing University, China. Bristow reports she is busy creating the curriculum and building the new graduate digital arts program
Entertainment Rights in London has made a raft of new appointments, starting with Anya Hollis, promoted to director of marketing and consumer products, responsible for the strategic licensing and marketing of the company's portfolio of brands. Julie King becomes group PR manager on Jan. 1, 2004 and Jennie Saul will be promoted to the newly created role of head of live events on this date.
Kevin Mullican has been named cto for iO Film, a technologically advanced, full-service digital film finishing facility specializing in film and video projects from every sector of the entertainment industry.
VFX industry veteran Jeff Ross has joined Hollywood-based visual effects shop Eden FX, in the newly created position of evp.
Ross has built an extensive career guiding, managing and overseeing the growth of numerous successful, high-end post-production companies. For the past two years, he served as evp/coo of Sunset Digital, a high definition facility specializing in feature film mastering, digital restoration, linear and non-linear editing and DVD compression and authoring.