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.
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.
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.
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.
Cartoon Network has promoted Jennifer Davidson to senior VP of programming and scheduling, reports VARIETY. Davidson will be responsible for supervising all on-air content for CN and Boomerang, as well as on-air promotion for Adult Swim.
Formerly VP of marketing, ad trade, consumer-products trade and strategic operations for CN and Adult Swim, Davidson was part of the team that launched the 11:00 pm to 6:00 am block targeted at adults.
Adam Stotsky has been promoted to the role of EVP, Global Brand Strategy and Market Development, the SCI FI Channel has announced. Under Stotsky, SCI FI has become widely regarded as one of the best-branded and best-marketed channels on television and has successfully grown into a top-tier basic cable channel.
DIC Ent.'s longtime president of worldwide consumer products Nancy Fowler has departed the L.A.-based company to work full-time with The Licensing Shop, reports KIDSCREEN. She'll join founder (and husband) Steve Fowler at the startup brand management outfit, where she'll help to build the client base and increase the company's presence in the Canadian licensing industry. The firm is also looking for employees to fill creative and administrative roles.
MTV Networks International has announced three new emerging markets appointments across Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Russia, reports C21 MEDIA.
Terry Clotiaux has been named exec producer of Digital Domain's feature film division, where he will oversee the films currently in production and report to Mark Miller, Digital Domain's President.
"Terry's background on the production side of the industry is substantial," said Miller, "having managed visual effects for some of the most successful blockbusters of the past decade. We're thrilled to have Terry on board."
Canadian animation production company guru studio has appointed former Disney exec Mary Bredin as head of development and acquisitions. Bredin will be responsible for developing new properties for film, TV and the Internet, as well as managing acquisitions. Most recently, Bredin headed up the acquisitions team for Sweden's Viasat and, before that, she handled programming and acquisitions for the international Disney Channels.
Veteran Nickelodeon executive Paula Kaplan has been promoted to the newly created position of Executive Vice President, Talent and West Coast General Manager, Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group. In her new role, Kaplan will continue to oversee talent and casting for the many businesses of Nickelodeon, including television, digital and consumer products, as well as MTVN Kids and Family Group brands The N, Nick at Nite, and Noggin, while expanding to include talent development and music.