LAIKA/house (previously known as Vinton Studios), has promoted longtime LAIKA/house director Kirk Kelley to creative director and Jan Johnson, formerly head of 2D production, will assume co-exec producer title for all LAIKA/house productions.
Susan Kantor has been named SVP, marketing for Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution and Telepictures Prods.
In this newly created position, Kantor is responsible for overseeing all of the marketing efforts for WBDTD, as well as manages the affiliate relations and promotions activities of the companys Telepictures-produced first-run series.
Gloria Borders joins DreamWorks Animation as head of PDI/DreamWorks, the studios Redwood City, California, campus. Borders is taking over for Patti Burke, who transitions into a senior consultant role at the company. Borders will oversee all production and operations at PDI/DreamWorks.
Michael McGahey joins Klasky Csupo as svp, feature film development.
Klasky Csupo founders Arlene Klasky and Gabor Csupo jointly stated, We are thrilled to have someone of Michaels knowledge and expertise join our company at this time. He comes to us with excellent taste for the commercial market and he will work with our current development team on our features projects in development with Viacom.
Dan Philips joins LAIKA Ent. in Portland, Oregon, in the newly created post of vp/head of production.
Yoram Gross and his family have sold their 50% holdings in Yoram Gross-EM.TV to the other 50% shareholder, EM.Ent., an affiliated company to the German media company EM.TV AG.
Originally founded by Yoram and Sandra Gross 37 years ago in Sdyney, they sold 50% of their studio to EM.TV in 1999 to form Yoram Gross-EM.TV.
The Gross family will continue to hold a majority shareholding in a related company, Yoram Gross Prods., until its current slate of productions is completed to ensure continuity of production and creative control.
Stephen Moore has relocated from Los Angeles to the U.K. to join Aardman as head of features/COO.
Moore was president of International for Twen-tieth Century Fox for eight years, overseeing both the theatrical and home entertainment divisions.
Aardman is very pleased to have been able to appoint Stephen at this point in the studios history," said David Sproxton, exec chairman of Aardman. "Stephens vast expe-rience will enable the studio to build considerably on its recent successes and increase its opportunities in many arenas.
As Marvel Studios moves into a production unit of its own, the house that superheroes built has promoted Kevin Feige to president of production, Ari Arad to evp production and Craig Kyle to vp creative development, animation, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.
BET has hired three new execs, which includes a head for its new animated programming division, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.
Denys Cowan has been hired for the new position of svp animation. Previously, Cowan worked with Hudlin on the Adult Swim series THE BOONDOCKS as producer and supervising director for Sony Pictures Television Animation. Hudlin is one of the exec producers of BOONDOCKS.
Greg Gilhooly joins Cookie Jar Ent. Inc. as vp, business and legal affairs. Based in the companys Toronto head office, his responsibilities will support Cookie Jars dynamic growth as the company continues to introduce several new shows a year, expands its entertainment operations globally and solidifies its new business initiatives.
Don Ballance and Ralph Messana have rejoined NewTek. They have spent the last two years developing and promoting the 3D Arsenal suite of software tools, a companion to LightWave 3D. 3D Arsenal is designed to make the creation of motion graphics quick and easy for video producers and editors not already versed in 3D animation.
News Corp. has promoted Jeremy Philips to EVP/office of the chairman and will focus on acquisitions and strategy across the company and will oversee Internet investments. He will continue to report to News Corp. chairman/ceo Rupert Murdoch.
Philips, 33, will also join the company's executive management committee.
Prior to joining News Corp., Philips was vice-chairman of ecorp Ltd., and worked at Citigroup and McKinsey & Co.
In the first "Animators Unearthed" column by Chris Robinson, he profiles At The Quinte Hotel director Bruce Alcock.
Herb Scannell has stepped down as vice chairman, MTV Networks, and president, Nickelodeon Networks to pursue other business opportunities, triggering a restructuring of the Nickelodeon Networks management structure.
HIT Ent. Ltd. (HIT) London announced a raft of new agent appointments to represent its properties across the world. "This marks a major shift in gear for HIT as we reinvigorate our licensing business in all key markets," said Peter Byrne evp of International at HIT. "It's all part of a major refocus of the company and our aggressive expansion drive into international territories."
HIT Ent. has reorganized the HIT European consumer product business, designed to simplify future communications with its partners and support future growth across a new category-based infrastructure.
The multiple brand group structure is now disbanded. The three new business units, according to Peter Byrne, evp HIT Int'l are:
UK Consumer Products: Focusing on the core U.K. licensing business teams aligned by category, supported by an international marketing group, managing the entire HIT portfolio of brands.
Comedy director Kenan Moran has signed with Curious Pictures for exclusive TV commercial representation.
Moran, who recently directed a seven-spot Comedy Central image campaign through the company on a freelance basis, was working with Czar U.S. An alumnus of MTVs on-air promo department, he brings a comic sensibility and solid live-action experience to a production company long associated with animation and mixed media work.
Carrie Dumont joins Cookie Jar Ent. as vp of its business affairs group to lead its expanding property acquisition, development and merchandising activities. Dumonts immediate focus will be in overseeing agreements with the ever-expanding roster of partners involved in Cookie Jars latest global television and merchandising sensation, THE DOODLEBOPS, as well the companys other renowned classic preschool brand, CAILLOU.
Buena Vista Home Entertainment International (BVHEI) has appointed Jerome Le Grand to the newly created position of svp/deputy gm of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Le Grand's responsibilities will include the management of the following departments: Finance, Operations/ESCO, Commercial Planning and Distribution, Emerging Markets Group for the EMEA. He will also serve as business contact for the European Legal Department.
Marc Ruxin has been hired as the coo of The Mill Group North America and Alistair Thompson has been promoted to md of The Mill New York.
Ruxin will be responsible for the growth, management and development of new products and services for The Mill and BEAM.TV. Ruxin brings 13 years of experience leading strategy, business development and marketing efforts on both the client and agency side of the technology and entertainment business.
Sharon Ngoi joins Disney Channel's marketing team as creative director and will work on promoting the Playhouse Disney-branded block, a learning-focused daypart for preschoolers, their parents and caregivers.
Bill Burke joins HIT Ent. as vp, brand management, to oversee the brand development of HIT's premiere properties BARNEY and THE WIGGLES, as well as the portfolio of brands from The Jim Henson Co. that HIT acts as worldwide representative for, including FRAGGLE ROCK and ANIMAL JAM. Additionally, he will focus on brand management for new content development. Burke is based in the HIT's New York City office and reports to Jamie Cygielman, svp, consumer products.
Billy Dexter has been appointed MTV Networks first evp/chief diversity officer (cdo). This new executive position creates a senior leader of the company's global initiatives to foster the highest levels of diversity throughout every aspect of its businesses. Dexter reports to Judy McGrath, chairman/ceo of MTV Networks, and will represent diversity issues on her executive strategy team.
Sony Corp. of America has appointed Tim Schaaff has been appointed to the newly-created position of svp of Software Development, effective immediately. Schaaff reports to Keiji Kimura, evp and officer in charge of Technology Strategy of Sony Corp.