Viacom's MTV Networks Argentina has appointed Juan Frontini Creative Director of MTV Latin America. The appointment is part of MTV Networks Latin America's strategy to regionalize and expand its programming and production operations locally. Based in Buenos Aires, Frontini will report to Sean Saylor, Vice President of Creative for MTV and VH1 Latin America, based in Miami Florida.
Veteran programmer Lauren Corrao has been named president, original programming and development for Comedy Central. Corrao, who is based in the network's offices in Los Angeles and was formerly exec VP, original programming and development, will continue to report to Doug Herzog, president, MTV Networks Entertainment Group.
Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group has expanded Nicktoons Network GM Keith Dawkins' position to SVP, Nickelodeon Programming Partnerships. In this new role, Dawkins will be responsible for forging new creative partnerships and co-productions with non-traditional programming partners, while overseeing the international and domestic acquisitions of series, films and short-form programming for both Nickelodeon and Nicktoons Network. Dawkins reports to Marjorie Cohn, EVP Development and Original Programming, Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group.
Indias Pune-based Anirights Infomedia has added two new vice presidents as part of an expansion spree, reports ANIMATION XPRESS. Praful Gade joins the company as VP, 3D Animation Pipeline and Shamboo Phalke is the new VP, 2D Animation Pipeline.
During his 20-year career, Gade has worked in various capacities, leading teams at Prasad Studios and Chromatic Technologies, among others. Prior to joining Anirights, he was Chief of Operations at Delhi-based Escotoonz.
The Visual Effects Society (VES) has elected a new board of directors for the upcoming year. The new members will take office at the Jan. 9, 2008, board meeting.
"This group of people represents an amazing array of talent and diversity," said Jeff Okun, outgoing chair. "They range from heads of companies and model makers to Academy Award-winning visual effects supervisors and producers.VES has always attracted the most talented, experience and knowledgeable individuals to it and we will surely be in good hands with group talented individuals at the helm."
Universal Studios Sound (www.filmmakersdestination.com) announces the addition of supervising sound editor Michael Geisler, expanding the department's services in animation and gaming. The facility offers sound editorial and design, mixing, Foley, ADR and transfer for features, television, commercials and trailers, along with animation and gaming.
Alexa Amin has joined Sony Pictures Animation as VP of development and will report to Nate Hopper, SVP of development. Among the upcoming projects she will be working on are CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS (opening March 27, 2009), HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA (opening Sept. 25, 2009), BIG ALIEN MUSICAL, (described as a hip-hop alien musical) and Jon Favreau's Imagemotion performance capture NEANDERTHALS (titles subject to change).
San Francisco-based W!LDBRAIN has announced the appointment of erstwhile Cartoon Network exec Bob Higgins to serve as Head of Creative. Higgins, who served as SVP, Programming and Development for CN's kids businesses, will oversee the company's television and feature film development, production and acquisition activities and will report to Charles Rivkin, W!LDBRAIN President and CEO. Higgins is scheduled to begin working out of the Manhattan-based offices of Kidrobot, a subsidiary of W!LDBRAIN, on January 1, 2008.
Time Warner Inc. has announced the election of Jeffrey L. Bewkes as CEO of Time Warner Inc., effective January 1, 2008. Bewkes, who currently serves as president and COO, will retain the title of president. He will succeed Richard D. Parsons, who will remain as chairman of the board.
Sanjay Das, formerly director of R&D at DreamWorks Animation, has joined Tippett Studio as CTO. Prior to Dreamworks, he was the director of Research and Engineering at Loudcloud/Opsware and before that spent nine years at HP in various management and worldwide leadership positions.
Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group has announced the promotion of Stacey Kaufman to VP, Digital Marketing and Tony Zito to VP, The N Online. The announcement was made by Steve Youngwood, Exec VP, Digital Media, Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group, to whom they report. Ms. Kaufman will simultaneously report to Pam Kaufman, CMO for Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group.
Veteran television executive and producer Robert Sorcher has been named chief content officer for Cartoon Network, where he will be responsible for driving the network's overall content development strategy, including original series, acquisitions, long form and special events. Along with managing the team of content executives, he will also oversee production and Cartoon Network Studios in Burbank.
Granada Ventures today announced a restructuring of their licensing group designed to maximize sales potential from the brand portfolio.
Classic Media, an Entertainment Rights group company, today announced the appointment of Karyn Schneider to the position of VP, Licensing for its operations in North America, effective immediately. Based at the company's headquarters in New York, the position reports to Nicole Blake, SVP, Marketing.
Vancouver-based animation studio Bardel Ent. has expanded to Toronto, with the appointment of Sarah Haasz as their Director of Development. A long-time veteran of Corus Ent., Haasz spent ten years in the Original Programming Department of Corus Kids, where she worked as a production exec on over 1500 hours of original content for YTV, Treehouse TV and Discovery Kids Canada.
Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group has promoted Alison Dexter to EVP of Production, responsible for all television production for Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Noggin, Nicktoons Network and The N.
"Alison helped grow Nickelodeon into the production powerhouse it is today," said Sarah Kirshbaum Levy, COO of Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group. "Her foresight and management for our state-of-the-art studios makes Nickelodeon the destination of choice for creators to produce the innovative content that has made us the #1 network for 13 years."
London-based LipSync Post has hired industry vet Andrew Morley as its new Head of 3D/VFX Supervisor. Morley's appointment further strengthens LipSync's film post-production services, following its recent 500,000 GPD investment in new state-of-the-art vfx facilities in Wardour Street.
Toronto-based Breakthrough Films &Television has announced the promotion of Stephanie van Bruggen to Supervising Producer, Breakthrough Animation. Reporting to Executive Producer/Managing Partner Kevin Gillis, van Bruggen will oversee the company's animated projects including ATOMIC BETTY, MISS BG, CAPTAIN FLAMINGO, the new children's animated series JIMMY TWO SHOES and the new prime-time adult animated series PRODUCING EMILY.
Nintendo of America has announced the hiring of two new exec vice presidents. Cammie Dunaway will serve as the company's new EVP, sales & marketing, reporting to President and CEO Reggie Fils-Aime, and Shigeyuki Takahashi will serve as EVP, special assignment, reporting to Chairman and CEO Tatsumi Kimishima. Both executives will work from Nintendo's new Silicon Valley offices in Redwood Shores, Calif.
Kidtoon Films has hired veteran kids marketing expert Jill Newhouse Calcaterra to secure promotional and marketing opportunities for their growing theatrical distribution program. Newhouse Calcaterra will be focusing her efforts on securing regional retail promotions, advertising partnerships and membership organizations.
NewTek, Inc. has announced that Ralph Messana has been named Director of Latin American Sales. Messana will guide sales and distribution efforts as NewTek expands into both the Latin American and Caribbean markets.
A senior Mattel executive has been hired by Nickelodeon UK to be the new VP of consumer products, reports C21 MEDIA. Clare Piggott, formerly a senior manager for Mattel Brands Consumer Products in the U.K., replaces Trudi Hayward, who will work as an independent consultant.
Award-winning visual effects company Zoic Studios has announced that Elexis Stearn has been promoted to executive producer from head of sales for commercials. Stearn has been with the company since its inception five years ago, and has worked closely with co-founder Steve (Scof) Schofield to shape the company's successful commercial division.
Flying Bark Productions PTY. Ltd., a 100 percent subsidiary of Munich-based EM.Entertainment GmbH, has extended the contract of Managing Director Michael Hefferon. Originally hired as provisional managing director for a six-month term, Hefferon succeeded in pushing forward both the support of Australian creative talent and the production of Australian programming for both local and international audiences.
Imagi Animation Studios has appointed Ken Tsumura to the newly created position of EVP of Production, Hong Kong. Tsumura will assume oversight of all production and studio operations at Imagi headquarters in Chai Wan (Hong Kong) and will report jointly to Francis Kao, Co-CEO & Chief Creative Officer and Douglas Glen, Co-CEO.