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Licensing Headline News

Louise O’Toole To Head Taffy Ent. New London Office

Louise OToole has signed on as md, U.K. at Taffy Ent.s new London office. OToole reports to Taffy Ent. joint ceos Mike Young and Bill Schultz, as well as president Liz Young. Her colleagues at Taffy Merchandising and Distribution include evp Regis Brown and vp of U.S. licensing Eric Stein.

Comedy Headline News

Kim Fleary New EVP, Comedy Development for The CW

Kim Fleary has been named evp, comedy development, The CW. Fleary, who will oversee the development of all scripted comedy series for The CW reports to Dawn Ostroff, president, entertainment, The CW.

"Kim's breadth of experience and vision have helped create many hit comedies in her career and we're confident she will repeat her success at The CW," said Ostroff. "She has keen creative and comedic instincts and is a wonderful collaborator on every level."

Framestore Headline News

Andy Lomas Returns to Framestore as CG Head

Framestore CFC has welcomed back Andy Lomas to the newly expanded post of head of CG, which will encompass features, commercials and longform TV.

Lomas returns at a significant time for Framestore CFC, with the recent announcement of the company's move into feature animation production (THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX) and the need to optimize CG work.

Company Headline News

Edell New DIC Ent. President/COO, Replacing Brooks

Jeffrey Edell has been appointed president/coo of DIC Ent., replacing Brad Brooks, who returns to investment banking with a position he accepted at Imperial Capital. Brooks was asked to continue as a consultant to DICs senior management in finance and strategy assessment. Edell will manage DICs operating units worldwide, including consumer products, television and home entertainment. The companys creative division will continue to report directly to Andy Heyward, DIC chairman/ceo.

Headline News

Scott Grogin Promoted To Fox Broadcasting Corp. Communications SVP

Veteran FOX spokesperson Scott Grogin has been promoted to svp, corporate communications for the Fox Broadcasting Co., responsible for developing and executing business and tactical communications strategies on behalf of the network as well as serving as primary liaison to the daily trade, financial and business media.

Headline News

Michael Pardee Exits Digital Domain for Sway

Michael Pardee joins Sway Studio as exec producer after serving as head of production for commercials at Digital Domain since 2003.

This is a key development for Sway, said company founder and former Digital Domain exec Mark Glaser. Ive known Mike for more than 10 years and hes the perfect person to oversee all of our production in a seamless, cohesive and streamlined manner. Pardee will work alongside executive producer Shira Boardman.

Game Headline News

Trilogy Studios Adds Experienced Talent to Game Dev Team

There's an influx of new talent at game developer Trilogy Studios. Animator Chad Schoonover recently left Sony Pictures Imageworks, where he created 3D facial and body animation for characters in the upcoming animated feature film, MONSTER HOUSE. He is now leading the animation team at Trilogy. He previously worked for five years as an animator on the UNREAL franchise, the demos for Epic's highly vaunted UNREAL 3 tech, as well as three years at Midway Games, where he pioneered the use of motion capture in the Sports division.

Headline News

Nicolas Coppermann to Head Télé Images

General secretary/deputy program director in charge of drama production at M6, Nicolas Coppermann, will soon take over as head of Télé Images. Coppermann will team with Pascal Breton (Marathon), Vincent Chalvon Demersay (Marathon Media) and Denis Mermet (Adventure Line Prods.), who joined forces in January 2006 with the fusion of the temporarily named Finhera group, currently presided over by Pascal Breton.

Awards Headline News

LAIKA/house Ups Roland Gauthier to CG Manager

Roland Gauthier will now serve as CG manager for LAIKA/house division. He will oversee LAIKA/houses CG animation group for all LAIKA/house commercial projects. The CG department has successfully created memorable commercials for various commercial clients.

Roland brings great expertise and enthusiasm to this key role, remarked Lourri Hammack, president/exec producer LAIKA/house. We are very excited for him to lead our phenomenally talented CG team.

Marvel Headline News

Avi Arad Leaves Marvel Stewardship to Produce Independently

Marvel Ent. Inc. has entered into a new arrangement with Avi Arad to independently produce films for Marvel under his own production company banner, Avi Arad Prods. Arad will remain actively involved in Marvel's upcoming film slate, including IRON MAN and HULK, the first two films anticipated to be financed and produced by Marvel under its new film financing slate.

Production Headline News

Disney Vet Lenora Hume New EVP Production & Programming for HIT Ent.

Thirty-year entertainment industry vet Lenora Hume exits DisneyToon Studios to join HIT Ent. in London as evp, production and programming. Hume will assume the position early June and will be responsible for refreshing the existing slate of HITs classic pre-school entertainment, including BOB THE BUILDER, THOMAS & FRIENDS, BARNEY, PINGU and ANGELINA BALLERINA, as well as building new brands through content development and acquisitions. Based in the companys London office, she will report to HIT Ent. ceo Bruce Steinberg.

Headline News

Nintendo of America Makes Key Executive Promotions

On the heels of the successful unveiling of the new Wii console, Nintendo of America Inc. announced three key executive promotions. Current president Tatsumi Kimishima takes on the new role of chairman of the board/ceo while Reggie Fils-Aime is promoted from evp of sales & marketing to president/coo. Additionally, Mike Fukuda is being promoted from svp of business development to evp of business development.

Digital Headline News

Digital Domain Promotes Molly Hansen to VP

Molly Hansen has added the title of vp to her existing portfolio as the general counsel and head of business affairs of Digital Domain, the Academy Award-winning full-service digital studio and production company that was acquired last week by South Florida-based Wyndcrest Holdings Llc. Director Michael Bay is one of the principals and co-chairs the Digital Domain board with John Textor.

Television Headline News

SPTI Ups Tom Davidson to International Networks VP

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.

Headline News

Benoit Runel New BKN New Media Ltd. Managing Director

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.

Disney Headline News

Russell Hampton New President, Disney Publishing Worldwide

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 Headline News

James Schamus Named Sole Head of Focus Features

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.

Nickelodeon Headline News

Brian Offutt New SVP, Entertainment Products, Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Prod

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.

Headline News

WB Int’l TV Dist, Ups Andrew Shipps to Marketing SVP

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.

Headline News

Andrea Marozas New Warner Bros. Ent. Theatrical Corp. Com. SVP

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.

Brickyard Headline News

Compositing Artist Jimi Simmons Joins Brickyard VFX

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 Headline News

Laws to Run New Universal Studios Consumer Products Group Mobile Entertainment

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.