Albie Hecht, president of Spike TV, announced his resignation today (Jan. 31, 2005) due to creative differences.
Leigh Anne Brodsky, president of Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products, has created two new positions and added new responsibilities for several executives to increase her divisions global presence.
Jim Davey has been named svp, Global Consumer Products Marketing and Planning while Tanya Haider becomes vp, Nickelodeon & Viacom International Consumer Products. The positions were created to bring global planning and execution to key franchises for Nickelodeon and Viacom.
Lions Gate Entertainment Toronto is restructuring its family entertainment division, including a name change from Family Home Entertainment to Family Entertainment to reflect the division's broadened scope and vision. In this effort, Anne Parducci has been promoted to the newly created position of evp in charge of family entertainment and marketing while evp Ken Katsumoto sees expanded responsibilities. Additionally, Lions Gate has promoted director of marketing Michael Rathauser to vp, Family Entertainment. And industry vet Glenn Ross is departing to pursue other ventures.
Jason Donati has been named as department chair of Media Arts & Animation at The New England Institute of Art (NEiA).
TV-Loonland head Peter Voelkle has left the company as shadows of tax evasion charges loom over him from the Munich district attorney's office, reports VARIETY. However, Voelkle will remain as a strategic and planning consultant. Head of finance and controller Selma Behlueloglu will take Voelkles place.
Corus Entertainment is shuffling around its television division, as Peter Moss, evp of programming takes on the role of creative consultant; Joanna Webb becomes vp, programming, W Network; and Phil Piazza joins Corus as vp, programming, childrens television.
Moss will now help guide Corus original productions and advise the senior programming team on scheduling and buying strategies, while he spends more time on directing and producing.
Marketing consultant Jan Nagel, has been tapped by Steven Ching, ceo of AGOGO Corp. Hong Kong, to represent AGOGO and its Animation Services Hong Kong in the U.S.
Visual effects supervisor, inferno artist and designer Aron Baxter has left his post with Nice Shoes to join sister facility Guava. The move is the first step in a new expansion effort at Guava. The studio expects to make significant additions to its creative staff and technical resources early in 2005. With Baxter moving to Guava, Nice Shoes has promoted inferno artist John Shea from a nighttime position to days.
Curious Pictures has tapped DreamWorks/PDI alum Lewis Kofsky to head its newly expanded visual effects department in New York. Kofsky recently completed the visual effects for SHREK 2 and the soon-to-be released MADAGASCAR.
Cecilia Persson has been appointed director of acquisitions for Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Toonami channels in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
Animation historian/journalist Harvey Deneroff has joined The Savannah College of Art and Design School of Film and Digital Media as one of three new professors beginning winter quarter 2005.
Deneroff, recently moved from London to Atlanta, joins the college as a part-time professor of animation. The former ANIMATION MAGAZINE and ANIMATION WORLD MAGAZINE editor has a Ph.D. in communication-cinema and a M.A. degree in cinema from USC.
Side Effects Software, developer of the award-winning Houdini family of 3D software, has appointed Craig Zerouni as production consultant. The addition of Zerouni to Side Effects Softwares production team will further establish the companys position as an essential partner for production studios. In this role, Zerouni and team will collaborate directly with production studios and technical directors to help build superior CG pipelines and create cutting-edge digital animation for feature films.
David Hulbert, former president, Walt Disney Television International, will be leaving the company in the wake of the Disney-ABC Television Group reorganization its television businesses in the European, Middle Eastern and African territories, promoting of two key executives to oversee this new organizational structure.
John Hardie, former svp/md, branded television, EMEA moves up to evp/md, Branded Television, EMEA while Tom Toumazis, former svp/md, Buena Vista International Television, EMEA advance to evp/md, Buena Vista International Television, EMEA.
Animator Joanna Priestley celebrates 20 years of innovation, imagination and squiggly lines with the recent release of her two-disc DVD anthology, Fighting Gravity and Relative Orbits.
Splinex Technology Inc., a provider of visual communication software and technology, has named Michael Stojda as president/ceo. Stojda has also been appointed to the board of directors.
Seth Rosenthal has joined Tweak as a partner and director of business development. Rosenthal wrapped up six years at Industrial Light & Magic in order to make the jump. He will contribute to Tweak's efforts to expand its visual effects business for feature films and commercials and will help launch a new division to distribute Tweak's proprietary software applications for visual effects and media production.
Cookie Jar Entertainment, the programming and licensing arm The Cookie Jar Group, has promoted Kelly Elwood from vp of marketing & licensing to svp of marketing. Based in Cookie Jars Toronto offices, Elwood will oversee the companys expanding industry and consumer brand marketing, as well as provide strategic planning on behalf of its growing entertainment lineup.
Cathy Laughton joins London-based Celador Intl in February 2005 as head of kids programming to champion of its new kids division (Celador International Kids) and will be responsible for sales of the companys portfolio of childrens programming as well as the development of new program acquisitions.
Laughton has 15 years experience in television distribution, which includes stints with Nelvana Enterprises (U.K.) Ltd, Jim Henson Co. and HIT Entertainment Plc.
Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) has promoted Christoph Pachler from exec director to vp, business development, in charge of strategic planning and new business initiatives for SPTI's three business lines: distribution, international networks and international production. His primary focus is on identifying new opportunities to expand SPTI's international networks portfolio, including the launches of new networks and acquisition of existing channels, as well as the acquisition of local production companies worldwide.
Laura Michalchyshyn has joined the Sundance Channel as evp, programming & marketing, responsible for all creative expressions of the Sundance Channel brand, both on and off-Channel, including original programming, film acquisition, program planning, on-air promotion and the creative strategy and implementation of all off-Channel consumer marketing.
Michalchyshyn, who will be based in New York City, will report to Sundance Channel Founder Robert Redford and Larry Aidem, president/ceo.
Brad Grey, chairman of Brillstein-Grey Ent., has been named chairman/ceo of Viacom's Paramount Motion Picture Group. Grey assumes the titles of chairman and ceo in a newly broadened role. In this position, he will have ultimate authority on film development and production as well as business operations, worldwide.
Northern Lights Post has added noted comedy/lifestyle editor John Laskas to its roster of talented editors and named Rich Schafler of Schafler Artist Management, New York, as its east coast commercial sales rep.
Pamela Kaufman has been promoted from svp, Nickleodeon marketing to evp, marketing and worldwide promotions, expanding her responsibilities to include strategic planning of worldwide programming launches as well as global partnership deals.
"Pam Kaufman is one of the most successful marketers in the entertainment industry," said Nickelodeon TV president Cyma Zarghami, to whom Kaufman will continue to report. "Her consumer marketing and property management skills have raised the creative bar for the entire industry and have turned our TV properties into gold."
Rick Sands has been named as the new president/coo of DreamWorks SKG. In his new post, Sands will primarily be responsible for overseeing the management of day-to-day operations of the private company, reporting directly to principal partner David Geffen.