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Animation Headline News

Anirights Expands Leadership Team

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.

Effects Headline News

VES Unveils 2008/2009 Board of Directors

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."

Sound Headline News

Universal Studios Sound Adds Geisler for Animation & Game Sound Design

Universal Studios Sound ( 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.

Animation Headline News

Sony Pictures Animation Appoints Alexa Amin VP of Development

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).

Cartoon Headline News

W!ldbrain Adds Higgins to Cortex

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 Headline News

Time Warner Names New CEO

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.

Studio Headline News

Sanjay Das Named CTO of Tippett Studio

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.

Digital Headline News

Nick Ups Two Digital Execs

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.

Headline News

Cartoon Network Names Chief Content Officer

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.

Licensing Headline News

Classic Media Appoints New Licensing VP

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.

Headline News

Bardel Hires Haasz to Head New Home

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.

Production Headline News

Nick Promotes Dexter to EVP

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."

Post Headline News

LipSync Post Appoints Andrew Morley New 3D Head

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.

Headline News

Van Bruggen Promoted to Supervising Producer at Breakthrough

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.

Headline News

Nintendo Hires Two New EVPs

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.

Kids Headline News

Kids Marketing Expert Joins Kidtoon

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.

Headline News

Elexis Stearn Upped to Zoic Exec Producer

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.

Production Headline News

Michael Hefferon to Stay with Flying Bark

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.

Production Headline News

Ken Tsumura Moves to Imagi

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.

Headline News

SCI FI's Adam Stotsky Upped to EV

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.

Headline News

Davidson Promoted to SVP at CN

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.

Licensing Headline News

Fowler Leaves DIC for Licensing Shop

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.