Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) has promoted Tom Davidson to vp, International Networks, where he will play a key role in developing SPTI's television networks business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, with a focus on increasing distribution for its global channel brands AXN, Animax and Sony Ent. Television on both traditional pay-tv platforms and increasingly into the broadband and mobile worlds.
BKN International AG has appointed Benoit Runel md of the companys largest operating subsidiary, BKN New Media Ltd. in Great Britain. Runel will oversee all sales and marketing for the BKN in the U.K., Germany, Benelux, Scandinavia, North America and emerging markets, such as Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East. He will also oversee all development and pre-production activities in the London-based studio, as well as secure and manage all co-productions with international partners.
R. Russell Hampton, Jr. has been named President, Disney Publishing Worldwide (DPW), responsible for overseeing DPW's various book imprints and magazines around the world. He replaces Deborah Dugan who announced her resignation earlier this week. He will be based in New York City and report to Andy Mooney, chairman, Disney Consumer Products.
Focus Features, the art house division of Universal Pictures, named company veteran James Schamus as its sole ceo.
The new title for Schamus, who co-produced the Oscar-winning BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, follows the recent promotion of David Linde from co-head of Focus to co-chairman of Universal Pictures, sharing that job with Marc Shmuger. Previously Schamus and Linde had run Focus together.
Paul Yanover, a 12-year Disney vet and current head of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Online (WDPRO), has been named evp/md of Disney Online (DOL), the business unit of the Walt Disney Internet Group (WDIG).
Brian Offutt, the former head of Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products' Los Angeles office, has relocated to New York City as svp, entertainment products, to oversee the NVCP home entertainment, publishing and record business for Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Noggin and The N, as well as the home video/DVD, book publishing and videogame businesses for Comedy Central, Spike TV and TV Land and the book publishing business for Paramount. These are all networks and the movie studio within the Viacom family that are handled for licensing and merchandising by NVCP.
Warner Bros. Ent. 14-year marketing and publicity vet Andrew Shipps has been upped to svp, marketing, Warner Bros. Intl TV Dist. (WBITD) to direct the studio's international television marketing team plus develope and supervise the implementation of global marketing strategies for its content offerings in the international television marketplace. He will oversee campaigns for original series produced by Warner Bros. Television, Telepictures Prods. and Warner Bros.
Andrea Marozas has been named svp, corporate communications, theatrical, Warner Bros. Ent. responsible for providing communications support on a worldwide basis to the companys global theatrical operations (production, distribution, marketing and executive), including overseeing trade, consumer and business press as they pertain to filmmakers, production deals, industry issues and trend stories.
Artist-owned-and-operated visual effects company Brickyard VFX has hired compositing and visual effects talent Jimi Simmons. A multiple Emmy Award nominee, Simmons brings to the Brickyard VFX team extensive visual effects experience, including work for Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, Philip Kaufman, Spaz Williams, Mark Dippé and other notable film, music video and commercial directors. A resource for both Brickyard VFX Atlantic and Brickyard VFX Pacific projects, he will be based in Boston.
Universal Studios Consumer Products Group has formed a moble entertainment division to be run from a day-to-day perspective by Universal veteran Jeremy Laws, who has been promoted to svp. Laws will oversee all aspects of licensing and promotions in the wireless arena, as well as actively pursue and manage licenses from creation to consumption. He will lead a team of sales executives based around the world, including major media markets as Los Angeles, London and Tokyo.
DIC Ent. has created an in-house division to oversee all broadcast and new media advertising sales initiatives for the launch of the new childrens programming block, CBSs Saturday Morning Secret Slumber Party, premiering Sept. 16, 2006. This team of industry veterans and new media experts will implement the broad-line advertising strategy for the block, which integrates television, online and new media, offering advertisers the opportunity to effectively reach kids across all three platforms.
IDT Ent. has appointed Marc DeBevoise svp, business development & strategy and Paul Campbell has joined the company as svp, publicity and promotion. Both execs will be based at IDT Ent.s east coast headquarters in Newark, New Jersey.
DeBevoise will be responsible for the generation, evaluation and execution of business development and growth opportunities, especially related to emerging digital content and distribution platforms.
Constantin Film has hired former Bavaria Film producer Reinhard Kloos to shepherd production of family films, reports VARIETY. Kloos will focus on CG films.
He previously headed Bavaria Pictures, a subsidiary of Bavaria Film, where he produced the forthcoming CG-animated URMEL AUS DEM EIS. The film tells the story of a baby dinosaur. Kloos has also worked as a producer in various capacities at Bavaria, Constantin and Studio Babelsberg, where he headed Babelsberg Film.
4Kids Ent. has promoted Peter H. Bloom from corporate controller to vp of finance and promoted Lisa Taliercio to corporate controller. Bloom will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the accounting and finance department.
Bloom will report to Bruce R. Foster,evp/cfo. For the last four years, Bloom was corporate controller. Prior to that, Bloom was an audit manager with Deloitte & Touche LLP. "We are proud to promote Peter Bloom to his new position," said
Multi-award winning artist Virgil Manning has joined Cinesite (Europe) as senior character animator. Animator Jason McDonald, modeler Stephane Paris and 3D manager Claire McGrane are recent additions to the 3D team as well.
Rick Mater has been named svp, broadcast standards, The CW, the new fifth broadcast television network, a joint venture between Warner Bros. Ent. and CBS Corp. Mater will oversee the broadcast standards of all CW programming for content, including all primetime series, Kids' WB! programming, on-air promotion, commercial clearance and development projects.
Betsy McGowen joins The CW as svp/gm, Kids' WB! on The CW, it was announced by Dawn Ostroff, who becomes president of entertainment, The CW, to whom McGowen will report. The CW is the new fifth broadcast television network scheduled to launch in the fall 2006 and is a joint venture between Warner Bros. Ent. and CBS Corp. McGowen will oversee all series development, current programming and scheduling as well as brand, image and marketing for Kids' WB! on The CW.
Sony Pictures Digital upped Ira Rubenstein from svp to evp to of marketing and production. Rubenstein will continue to manage the divisions production efforts to extend Sony Pictures Entertainment properties into the digital marketplace through SonyPictures.com, mobile games, personalization products and the creation of casual games.
Larry Lieberman joins Virgin Comics Llc./Virgin Animation as chief marketing officer, to overseeing the company's U.S. operations, Global Licensing Business, Strategic Marketing, Publishing and Advertising Sales Divisions. Lieberman is also charged to grow the company's worldwide online and wireless content initiatives.
He will be based in New York City, working closely with Sharad Devarajan, ceo, Virgin Comics/Virgin Animation, to whom he reports.
Dominique Crosby Moves up to svp, strategy and business development, Nickelodeon and MTVN Kids & Family Group. In her new role, Crosby will oversee these areas for these groups and will be responsible for identifying, analyzing and recommending new business opportunities, as well as providing long-term strategic analysis and vision for existing lines of business.
In this months The Animated Scene, Joseph Gilland profiles his meeting with Norman McLaren and working on international animation crews.
4Kids Ent. announced that Steven M. Grossman, evp/coo and member of the board of directors, has stepped down from the company and from the board. Grossman's responsibilities will be shared among the current members of the senior management team, led by chairman/ceo Alfred R. Kahn, cfo Bruce R. Foster and general counsel Samuel R. Newborn.
Simon Taylor joins Buena Vista International Television (BVITV) EMEA as vp, legal & business affairs. In this London-based role, Taylor will be responsible for managing all legal and business affairs for BVITVs TV and new media distribution business.
Within this, he will work closely with both Tom Toumazis, evp/md, BVITV EMEA and Peter Wiley, Disneys svp and European general counsel. Taylor will manage a BVITV legal & business affairs team of 11 based in London and Paris. He will also become a member of BVITVs executive team.