The CFO of Viacom, Fredric Reynolds, has decided to step down from his post. Fredric served at Westinghouse Electric Corp. when they purchased CBS, subsequently overseeing the purchase of CBS by Viacom. Reynolds is leaving the post for personal reasons, but will continue working for the New York-based company in some fashion out of the California offices. He will remain CFO until a replacement can be found. A Viacom spokeswoman said, "He wants to spend more time with his family in California, and it wasn't possible for the CFO to be in California."
Black Logic has added five 3D artists to its CG department. The new Black Logic CG staff members include: Scott Petill, senior animator; Sebastian Bilbao, technical director; Julio Soto and Andrew Dayton, CG artists; and Glenn Harper, visual effects animator. Prior to joining Black Logic, Petill was at Post Perfect and earlier at ad agency Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer. In addition, he has consulted with Pixar on their commercial software releases, and designed a library of 3D textures for broadcast and print applications. "Scott is a wizard with motion and light.
Nicolas Gorse has been appointed distribution director for France and French-speaking Belgium, Switzerland and Luxembourg for TBS Europe. Gorse will be responsible for the distribution of all three Turner channels, CNN International, Cartoon Network and TCM (Turner Classic Movies). Previously, Gorse served as development and marketing director of SOFIRAD. "Nicolas has an excellent knowledge of marketing and distribution, as well as of the various satellite platforms and their specific offerings in France.
From Russia to his new home of Norway, Pjotr Sapegin is bringing his own twisted sense of humor to his re-worked fairy tales. Who is this man behind a salt controlling troll, a genital loving cat and a rat seeking romance? Chris Robinson investigates.
Goodspeed & Associates, Inc. has promoted Patrick Bennett to the newly created position of design director. Formerly a designer with the company, Patrick will be responsible for the daily overseeing of all creative work. Before joining Goodspeed over a year ago, Patrick held a variety of creative positions in graphic design, Web design and consulting for several magazines and cultural institutions, such as ESQUIRE, VANITY FAIR and Dia Center for the Arts. "Patrick has proved an invaluable asset for our rapidly growing company," said agency owner Bill Goodspeed.
Terra Networks' chief operating officer Abel Linares has stepped down from his post and Stephan J. Killeen has been hired as U.S. president. Linares' departure comes only three weeks after chief executive officer, Bob Davis, stepped down over disputes with global president Joaquim Agut on who would control Terra after the US$6.5 billion merger with Lycos was completed. Linares' quitting was not a surprise. He was supposed to become head of special projects, which he viewed as a demotion.
Mark Simon, co-founder of AARGH! Animation, Inc., has resigned from the company to start a new cel animation development and production studio. The new Orlando-based A&S Animation, Inc. already has two short-form animation series in production entitled, TIMMYS LESSONS IN NATURE and MY WIFE IS PREGNANT. In addition, the studio is developing several 30-minute animated series. Simon is the author of STORYBOARDS: MOTION IN ART. For more information on A&S Animation contact Mark Simon at E-mail: email@example.com.
Walt Disney Studios has promoted Dean Hallett to executive VP and chief financial officer. Hallett, an 11-year veteran of Disney, previously served as senior VP and chief financial officer of the studio. He assumed that role in April, following the departure of Rob Moore. Hallett will continue to oversee all financial, strategic and operational aspects of the firm. As executive VP, he will help develop and expand strategy and management. Hallett joined Disney in 1990 as a manager in the corporate management audit department.
Gillian Samuels has joined Digital Pictures as marketing director and executive producer. In the new role, Samuels will oversee the development of the firm's brand, capitalize on new and existing markets and help expand their design and high-end visual effects capabilities in both television and film. Previously, as director of marketing and client services at Garner MacLennan Design, Samuels was responsible for the marketing and developing of the Broadcast Design division.
As a result of the impending bail out of EM.TV by KirchGroup, a top Kirch executive has assumed a role at EM.TV. Head of Kirch New Media Rainer Huether will replace Hans Peter Vreins as head of sales, and also assumes the role of deputy CEO. In addition, EM.TV's head of production Sylvia Rothblum has been asked to step down from her post. Moreover, Nickolaus Becker, head of EM.TV's supervisory board, has also stepped down.
Curious Pictures has announced it has signed Noble Jones as a live-action/special effects director. Noble is renowned for his work directing commercials in far off places like South Africa and Switzerland for such clients as AT&T, Coca-Cola, MTV and Toyota. His music video for Wide Mouth Mason won awards for Best Cinematography at the Much Music Awards. "We have been aware of Noble for years," said Richard Winkler, executive producer, Curious Pictures. "His work took a quantum leap in the last year or so and the timing was right for both of us.
Michel Welter has been named president of CinéGroupe International. In this newly created position, Welter will head the companys international corporate development efforts in addition to overseeing all aspects of international sales for the company including distribution, licensing and merchandising. Prior to coming to CinéGroupe, he was president of Saban Enterprises International, where he managed the worldwide licensing and merchandising activities of Saban Entertainment and developed new international ventures.
Sesame Workshop has announced that they have named Nancy Steingard to the new post of senior VP of creative development and have promoted VP of development Julian Scott to the position of VP of European operations. Steingard will oversee talent deals, the building of production and broadcast relationships and expanding the firm's new media options. Prior to her new job, Steingard was an executive VP at Universal Family Entertainment. Scott will head up a new London office, where he will oversee the company's actions in the European market, including projects with Granada and the BBC.
Dennis Hoffman has been promoted to vice president and head of visual effects for Cinesite. Since joining Cinesite as an executive producer in 1998, Hoffman has supervised the production of more than 1,500 visual effects shots on 65 projects including such films as RED PLANET, DEEP BLUE SEA, MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE and THIRTEEN DAYS. Prior to joining Cinesite, Hoffman was a producer and subsequently vice president/executive producer at Dream Quest Images, where his producing credits included CRIMSON TIDE, the Imax film ASTEROID ADVENTURE and the series EARTH 2, for which he earned an Emmy.
Joanne Barlow joins Turner Entertainment Networks as marketing director for Cartoon Network UK and Boomerang, Cartoon Network's spin-off classic animation network. Her goal will be to bring together all aspects of marketing, offering strong and focused propositions to the partners and audiences of Cartoon Network and Boomerang. Previously, she served as European promotions manager for service station chain Shell. Before joining Shell, she ran her own business designing children's products. "We are very excited to have Joanne onboard," said James Greville, head of Cartoon Network UK.
Ben Orisich has joined Cyclotron, a New York design, production and F/X company, as digital artist/designer. Prior to Cyclotron, 25 year-old Orisich worked for four years at Atlanta-based Click 3X as senior inferno* artist. Orisichs work has won him numerous awards, including the Gold BDA International Design Award (2000) for commercial spots for UPS and retailer Carson Pirie Scott.
Warner Home Video has shuffled its management into new posts in light of increased revenues from the company's DVD sales. Sales executive John Quinn has been promoted to the new post of VP, supply chain management and logistics. The 15-year veteran of Warner Home Video will oversee all aspects of manufacturing, physical distribution, customer service, vendor management and inventory systems. Exec. VP of worldwide marketing and development, Thomas Lesinski has been raised to the new position of executive VP and general manager for the U.S. Lesinski joined Warner Home Video in 1993.
Brilliant Digital Entertainment Inc. has announced the appointment of Robert Chmiel to the newly combined position of Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operating Officer. In this new position, Chmiel will help direct operations in executing the company's latest initiatives in music and advertising. In addition he will actively seek out further investors and move the firm into profitability. He joins Brilliant from Phase2Media Inc.
Icebox president Gary Levine is shedding his coat at the struggling entertainment Website for warmer pastures at Showtime. Levine was the key player in Icebox selling its STARSHIP REGULARS series to Showtime as a live-action series. At the cable network, he will assume the role of executive VP of original programming, and therefore will oversee the production of STARSHIP from the other side. Before joining Icebox, Levine served as exec VP of creative affairs for Warner Bros. TV.
Will Ryan pays a visit to the super-kinetic Charlie Adler, one of the industry's foremost voice actors and directors.
Chris Oarr has announced that he is resigning as executive director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Oarr headed the CBLDF, a non-profit organization protecting First Amendment rights in the comics industry, for more than three years. "It's been great working for such an important cause," said Oarr. "And I feel like we've accomplished a lot. The Fund will continue to stand ready to provide the highest quality legal advice and service to the comics' community.
Director Nick Hewitt has joined Stockholm-based Filmtecknarna F. Animation AB. Previously Hewitt worked for San Francisco-based Curious Pictures. In his new role, he will work as a commercials director for Filmtecknarna but will also continue to pursue the creation of long-format animation. Hewitt joins Filmtecknarna directors Jonas Odell and Jonas Dahlbeck.
Ed Catmull, Pixar Animation Studios co-founder, has been named president of the company. Catmull has served as a member of the company's executive team and chief technical officer since the incorporation of the company in 1986. In his new role as president, Catmull will report to chairman and CEO Steve Jobs and work closely with Jobs and Pixar's executive team to guide Pixar's growth. "Ed and I founded Pixar almost 15 years ago, and we've been through thick and thin together," said Jobs.
Rumpus.com, a children's new media company, announced that Rick Mischel, former president and chief operating officer of Harvey Entertainment, will join the company as acting president. Mischel will forge new revenue streams for Rumpus in domestic and international television and home video markets. Mischel will continue his consulting duties at Harvey, and will serve in a non-exclusive capacity to Rumpus.
Mandy Martin has joined ATTIK, an all-media creative solutions provider, as executive producer of the San Francisco studio. Previously, Martin served as executive producer for Los Angeles-based broadcast design and media company Pittard Sullivan. She has worked on campaigns for Sat.1 (Germany), Star TV (Turkey) and BskyB (England), among others. Will Travis, president ATTIK USA, said, "I couldn't be any happier about Mandy joining ATTIK. Her blend of professionalism and production acumen is a fantastic match for our growing team.