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Animation Headline News

Toliver New Animation VP at Fox

Karen Rupert Toliver is the new vp production at 20th Century Fox Animation, replacing John Cohen. Her duties will include the development and production of animated projects. She reports to recently appointed TCF Fox Animation president Vanessa Morrison.

"Karen has the expertise and sensibility with the development and production of big, all-audience, animated movies, and her taste and talents fall perfectly in line with the films that we make here at Fox Animation," Morrison commented.

Studios Headline News

Helmintoller New S4 Studios Creative Director

Thomas Helmintoller joins S4 Studios in the newly created post of creative director. A specialist in graphics production for trailers, music videos, movies and home video packaging, Helmintoller designed air combat sequences of DER ROTE BARON (THE RED BARON), an international co-production being distributed by Warner Bros. in October 2007.

Digital Headline News

MTVN's Ent. Group Ups Flannigan to Digital Media EVP

MTV Networks' Ent. Group has promoted Erik Flannigan to evp, digital media. The Entertainment Group is comprised of a multi-platform portfolio of brands featuring the Comedy Central, Spike TV and TV Land cable channels, as well as Internet sites AtomFilms, AtomUploads, and Xfire. Flannigan supervises the linear channels' digital media teams, overseeing the networks' digital programming initiatives, to maximize revenue growth opportunities for the group and now will oversee all of the Entertainment Group's digital businesses as well.

Studios Headline News

DisneyToon Studios Prexy Morrill Steps Down

Sharon Morrill, president of DisneyToon Studios, has stepped down from her post, where she had been responsible for producing direct-to-video sequels of the Disney Co.'s animated features. She will do special projects for Disney.

ANIMATION WORLD MAGAZINE reported on March 28, 2007, that it was the end of the line for Disney direct-to-video sequels and how the studio was moving forward under the new corporate climate with Ed Catmull and John Lasseter at the helm.

Exec Headline News

DreamWorks Animation Gains Ross as New Development Exec

Dream Works Animation has hired former Nickelodeon Movies development vp Damon Ross as a senior development exec. Ross's main duty will be acquiring and developing literary properties as well as original projects. He will work on the day-to-day development of features at the studio with Chris Kuser.

The new DreamWorks exec will report to the studio's head of creative development and production Bill Damaschke and head of development Kristine Belson.

Licensing Headline News

Streff to Oversee DIC Domestic Licensing Initiatives

Lisa Streff to vp of domestic licensing in DICâs consumer products division, to oversee the development and implementation of domestic licensing and merchandising programs for the company's slate of entertainment and lifestyle brands, including MOMMY & ME, HORSELAND, MCDONALDS, STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE, CAKE, MADELINE SLUMBER PARTY GIRLS and DICâs all new boy-driven property, DINO SQUAD. She will oversee the efforts of sales, retail and product development.

Channel Headline News

Weisenberg New SCI FI VP Strategic Marketing

Shari Weisenberg joins SCI FI Channel in the newly created position of vp, strategic marketing, to lead all sales marketing initiatives for the SCI FI brand. Her appointment signals the Channel's commitment to leveraging its multimedia assets to maximize the reach and impact of all sponsor messaging.

Effects Headline News

Method Signs Andy Boyd

Method Studios has signed Andy Boyd as a CG supervisor. Most recently working as the head of 3D Commercials with Framestore-CFC London, Boyd is a well-known 3D artist and recognized as the visual effects creative force behind high-profile campaigns such as the Daniel Kleinman-directed GUINNESS Noitulove, SURE/REXONA lensed by Noam Murro and ESUVEE directed by Daniel Kleinman. His official start will be July 1.

Henson Headline News

Michael Polis Named First Chief Marketing Officer of W!LDBRAIN

San Francisco-based animation and production studio W!LDBRAIN announced that Michael Polis will be the new chief marketing officer for the company, the first in the studio's history. Polis will focus on building up brands for the company, such as the YO GABBA GABBA series for Nick Jr., while also focusing on management of the overall W!LDBRAIN corporate identity.

Television Headline News

Warner Bros. Animation Exec Lewis Moves up to WB Domestic TV Distribution

Veteran Warner Bros. Ent. business operations exec Andy Lewis has been named evp/general administrative manager at Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution (WBDTD), overseeing all business operations, including finance, administration, planning and analysis for WBDTD, one of the leading distributors of first-run and off-network programming in the domestic television marketplace. Lewis comes to WBDTD after a decade at Warner Bros. Animation (WBA).

Global Headline News

Handcranked Prods. Joins Global Mechanic Roster

Handcranked, otherwise known as the veteran animation director team of Bryan Papciak and Jeff Sias, will join Global Mechanic to be represented for commercial production worldwide, it was announced by Global Mechanic exec producer Matthew Charde. Global Mechanic produces commercials, television series and films in all media, working with directors internationally and studios on both coasts of North America.

Company Headline News

James Collins Joins Guava

Visual effects studio Guava has signed seasoned animator and designer James Collins to its roster. He recently completed a spot for GMC via Lowe Worldwide with Guava. He comes from Click 3X, where he rebuilt the CG department and headed the team.

"In addition to providing an environment that is conducive to creativity, Guava offers a very talented staff," said Collins. "I am eager to contribute my skills while also learning from the experienced artists here. At Guava, I hope to help clients nurture their ideas and solve their creative needs."

Home Headline News

HBO Elevates Four Corp. Officers With Albrecht Departure

HBO has a new lineup of four top corporate officers today (June 5, 2007) to replace Chris Albrecht, the ceo who resigned last month. Bill Nelson heads the group as chairman/ceo. Richard Plepler, Eric Kessler and Hal Akselrad have been elevated to the new title of co-presidents, all with specific duties at the pay cable channel and all report to Nelson. Time Warner chairman/ceo Dick Parsons and president/coo Jeff Bewkes made the announcement.

Production Headline News

Atlantyca Ent. Makes Key Exec Appointments

Italian-based production company Atlantyca Ent. has appointed Claudia Mazzucco ceo and Caterina Vacchi as senior manager/exec producer of the company.

Mazzucco will oversee all of the company's initiatives and reports to chairman Pietro Marietti, who established Atlantyca Ent. in September 2006 to create new business opportunities for the company's library of entertainment book properties.

Series Headline News

Pope New NBC Universal Television Studio President

Katherine Pope has been promoted from evp, NBC Ent., to president, NBC Universal Television Studio, and will head one of the country's largest and most successful television production companies, it was announced today by NBC Ent. and NBC Universal Television Studio co-chairmen Marc Graboff and Ben Silverman.

International Headline News

Meyer to Head Worldwide Publicity for Disney Studios Motion Picture Marketing

Teri Meyer has been promoted to the newly created position of evp of worldwide publicity for Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Marketing. She will be responsible for formulating and executing worldwide publicity campaigns for all live-action and animated features released under The Walt Disney Pictures (live action and animation), Touchstone Pictures and Hollywood Pictures banners.

Marvel Headline News

Fine New EVP/Chief Marketing Officer of Marvel Characters

Alan Fine has been appointed to the newly created position of evp/chief marketing officer of Marvel Characters Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marvel Ent., which owns and licenses Marvel's intellectual property library. Fine will be responsible for directing and coordinating Marvel's efforts to support and strengthen its brands.

Fine, who joined Marvel in 1996, will retain his current title of ceo of Marvel's publishing and toy divisions.

Headline News

LAIKA Gains New Marketing Head in Rabe

LAIKA Inc. has appointed Cynthia Barton Rabe to the position of vp/cmo, entertainment division. Rabe is a 20-year marketing veteran who has held management positions with consumer product and technology companies, including Intel and Ralston Purina. She is also a business consultant, author and guest lecturer specializing in innovation and corporate strategy.