Daniel Taylor has been appointed president of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., following completion of the sale of MGM to the consortium now acquiring the film/TV studio and its library. The investor group consists of Providence Equity Partners, Texas Pacific Group, DLJ Merchant Banking, Sony Corp. of America and Comcast Corp.
Nancy Fowler (formerly Bassett) moves up from svp to the newly created position of president, Worldwide Consumer Products at DIC. She will expand her role to include actively participating in the acquisition of new childrens properties for the purpose of developing licensing and merchandising programs for DIC.
Former Lucas Digital president Jim Morris wont be moving to Southern California after all to pursue a producing career in computer-animated features. After an 11-year stint as the Lucas Digital head and another 13 years as gm of Industrial Light & Magic, Morris will be producing at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, California. According to a Pixar spokesperson, Morris begins at Pixar on Feb. 14, 2005, to work on an upcoming feature film project. We think Jim will be a very good fit, considering his visual effects background at ILM.
Janet Hetherington chats with Mike Barker and Matt Weitzman, who along with Seth MacFarlane, are the co-creators of FOXs newest cheeky animated series, American Dad.
Commercial film and design company Hornet Inc. welcomed Peter Sluszka for exclusive representation, the renowned stop-motion artist that recently collaborated with director Michel Gondry on a music video for Steriograms single Walkie Talkie Man (from the debut album SCHMACK!). The music video is nominated for Best Short Form Music Video of the year by the 47th Grammy Awards (taking place Feb.13).
Doug Herzog replaces Albie Hecht as president, Spike TV, adding the responsibility of overseeing the first network for men to his existing role as president, Comedy Central. Comedy Central and Spike TV will form a new unit, within MTV Networks, under Herzog. Herzog will report to Herb Scannell, MTV Networks Group president on Spike TV, and will continue to report to Judy McGrath, chairman, MTV Networks, on Comedy Central. Herzog will continue to be based in Los Angeles.
Steve Hendricks has joined leading post-production boutique Post Logic Studios as president/ceo. With state-of-the-art facilities in Hollywood and New York, Post Logic has distinguished itself as a leader in digital intermediate and feature film restoration, and continues to expand into new and emerging arenas within the post-production realm. Hendricks brings a wealth of domestic and international experience into the company, and will oversee day-to-day business operations as well as expansion opportunities.
Albie Hecht, president of Spike TV, announced his resignation today (Jan. 31, 2005) due to creative differences.
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.
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.
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.
Cecilia Persson has been appointed director of acquisitions for Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Toonami channels in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
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.
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.
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.