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.
Nikki Grass joins Entertainment Rights (ER) as head of marketing at a time when ER is experiencing increasing demand for its content from the rapidly growing digital media sector.
Matthew McManus has come aboard RIOT as exec producer for commercials and other short-form work. McManus will oversee sales, marketing and production for the studios Los Angeles and New York facilities as they continue to sharpen their focus on the upper end of the advertising market and visual effects-driven, project-based work.
Ramsey A. Naito has been named vp of long-form development for Cartoon Network. In this newly created position, Naito will be responsible for finding, developing and producing long-form properties for the network. Sourcing from Cartoon Networks original assets as well as outside creator-driven publishing, comic and film resources, Naitos mission will be to shepherd event projects embodying the networks smart, funny and fearless sensibility for both on-air and DVD release.
IDT Ent. announced the appointment of Chris McGurk to the newly created post of senior advisor, new ventures. McGurks longtime career in the entertainment industry includes stints atop MGM, Universal Pictures and the Walt Disney Co. Motion Picture Group. In his new position, McGurk will focus his industry experience on leveraging IDTs assets to build a new live-action theatrical production and distribution arm. He will report to IDT Ent.
The supervisory Board of TV Loonland AG announced the appointment of Simon Flamank as the new ceo of TV Loonland. Flamanks appointment follows the departure of former ceo Selma Kappel, who leaves the company following a disagreement with the supervisory board about the future development of the company.
Chris Robinson excavates Jonas Odells Never Like the First Time! and discovers the first sexual experiences of four people in this months Animators Unearthed.
National Geographic Television & Films (NGT&F) Kids programming and production unit has promoted Michael Karsh to manager, current series & development. Karsh will serve as the primary exec on several projects in various stages of development and production.
Brain Zoo Studios has hired former Stan Winston exec producer and visual effects supervisor André Bustanoby to supervise visual effects at Brain Zoo Studios as part of an expansion into film and TV while continuing to serve the interactive entertainment client base.
Bustanoby brings 12 years of film and television visual effects experience to the Brain Zoo team, having worked on such high-profile projects as TITANIC, FANTASTIC 4, SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW and, most recently, EIGHT BELOW.
Licensing veteran Cynthia Modders joins DIC Ent. as svp of worldwide consumer products, responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of licensing and merchandising programs for the company's high-profile entertainment and lifestyle brands, including Horseland, McDonalds Vintage, McKids, Strawberry Shortcake, iZ, Madeline, Classic Trolls and Trollz.
Judson C. Green, president/ceo of NAVTEQ Corp., has been elected to the DreamWorks Animation board of directors.
President/ceo of NAVTEQ since May 2000, Green has been instrumental in making NAVTEQ a leading provider of comprehensive digital map information and helped established it as a new public company.
Jason Wells joins Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) as its new svp, mobile entertainment. Wells will relocate from Los Angeles to SPTI's European headquarters in London and will lead the newly formed mobile entertainment group. He will report to both Michael Grindon, SPTI's president, and John McMahon, president/md of SPTI in Europe.
Adobe Systems Inc. announced the appointment of John Loiacono as svp, Creative Solutions. In this role, Loiacono will have responsibility for the development, delivery and marketing of Adobe's entire creative software portfolio, including flagship brands such as Adobe Creative Suite, Macromedia Studio, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Premiere Pro, Macromedia Flash Professional and Macromedia Dreamweaver. Based at the company's headquarters in San Jose, he will report to Shantanu Narayen, Adobe's president and coo.
Marsha E. Williams moves up to svp of research and planning at Nickelodeon Networks, responsible for consumer insights for Nickelodeon and Nick Jr., including all brand, programming and production, merchandising, public affairs, online and other corporate consumer research for Nick.
Simon Kenny moves into the new role of president of the newly formed Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, one of the companies that make up the Warner Bros. Home Ent. Group. In this newly created role, Kenny will manage the worldwide electronic distribution streams of the studios product over existing, new and emerging digital platforms, including pay-per-view, electronic sell-through, video-on-demand, subscription-video-on-demand, wireless and more.
Universal Studio has named Marc Shmuger chairman, and David Linde co-chairman, Universal Pictures, effective immediately.