MICHAEL PERIK, the Learning Company's chairman, and its president, KEVINO'LEARY, have moved on from MATTEL, INC. A search has begun for a newperson to helm Mattel Interactive, the division which includes all units ofthe Learning Company, Mattel Media and the company's Intel Play venture. Inrelated news, Mattel has said that FRANCESCA LUZURIAGA will be the newchief operating officer of Mattel Interactive, responsible for finance,information technology and new business development. In addition, the
A sad cloud has eclipsed the world of animation since the passing ofbeloved voice-over actress, Mary Kay Bergman. She recently has provided thevoice for Daphne Blake in the two most recent Scooby-Doo direct-to-videoflicks; Batgirl/Barbara Gordon in "Batman: Subzero"; the "official" voicefor Disney's Snow White; and all but one of the female voices on ComedyCentral's "South Park." Many questions surrounding the details of herpassing have surfaced since fans have logged onto her Web site which only
CLICK 3X picks designer, SOPHIA PAVLATOS, and editor, ANN HUSANI, to add to their New York staff. Pavlatos returns to Click 3Xfrom which she left in 1997. Since then she worked as a compositor anddesigner for Tapehouse Digital/Black Logic and free lanced using Flame andAfter Effects. Husani moves from the Atlanta branch of Click 3X, for whichshe has worked since October 1996, to the New York office.
THE FIRM DESIGN GROUP, a creative concept studio specializing in broadcast design and image campaigns, has hired creative director/director PETER BUREGA. Burega will head up the West Coast studio in Venice, California, USA and direct commercials for The Film Design Group's parent company, Fourth of July Productions. Burgega's recent credits include indentity spots for the USA Network and commercials for House of Blues International and Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
THE WALT DISNEY STUDIOS has promoted ROB MOORE to the position ofexecutive vice president of operations and finance. In his new position, Moore will be responsible for all of the business and operating activities of The Walt Disney Studios, including feature animation, live action film, TV animation and Wonderful World of Disney television production, theatrical and video marketing and distribution, the Studio's music operations, stage play business and Miramax Films. Moore, 37, joined The Walt Disney Studios in 1987 as a senior financial analyst. In 1990, he was promoted to vice
WALT DISNEY FEATURE ANIMATION has promoted DUNCAN ORRELL-JONES to theposition of vice president of finance. In his new role, Orrell-Joneswill oversee operational finance and accounting for Feature Animation'sworldwide operations, including Disney's Burbank, Orlando and Parisanimation studios. Since May 1997, Orrell-Jones has served as thedirector of finance and planning, during which time he has been responsible for developing and managing Feature Animation's labor, expense and capital
DISNEY CONSUMER PRODUCTS has named ROBYN MILLER senior vice president ofGlobal Marketing and Studio Development. In her new role, Miller will beresponsible for developing and implementing worldwide marketing andbranding strategies for all of Disney Consumer Products' businesses:Licensing, The Disney Store, Disney Publishing Worldwide, Walt Disney ArtClassics and Disney Interactive. She will also oversee the development ofconsumer products strategies for Disney entertainment properties. At Buena
OLAF OLAFSSON has been named vice chairman of TIME WARNER DIGITAL MEDIA.Olafsson's appointment becomes effective November 15. Olafsson will workwith Michael Pepe, president and chief operating officer of Time WarnerDigital Media, and the rest of the management team at Time Warner DigitalMedia to continue developing strategic business plans for Time Warner'sdiverse digital media businesses and identifying emerging growthopportunities for the company in the digital realm. Olafsson joins Time
THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY has completed the next stage in the development ofits international organization for Europe by naming six Disney veterans tocountry management roles. The six executives will all become managingdirector of six country groupings. CLAUS GYDESEN, 39, has been appointedmanaging director for Germany, Austria and Switzerland and will continue tobe based in Munich. As head of Disney's video operations in these markets,Gydesen established a direct-to-retailer operation that helped make Buena
FRANK SAPERSTEIN has been appointed Creative Director of Philippines-basedpasi (PHILIPPINE ANIMATION STUDIO, INC.). His responsibilities will includequality control, co-productions and marketing, and technical development ofthe studio. He is based out of Los Angeles, California. Saperstein comesdirectly from Matinee Entertainment where he served asProducer/Director/Writer of KAMPUNG BOY, a co-production with pasi, whichwon a Special Prize for Best TV Program at Annecy '99. In addition, MIMBI
Courage the Cowardly Dog premieres this month on the Cartoon Network. Bob Miller interviews John R. Dilworth, the show's creator, on taking the award winning short to series.
At 91, Joe Grant is the only artist to have worked on both Fantasia and Fantasia 2000. Mike Lyons catches up with this special working Joe.
WALT DISNEY FEATURE ANIMATION has promoted BOB BACON to the position ofvice president of finance. Bacon will oversee production finance for all ofFeature Animation, including both traditional and CGI-based projects atDisney's Burbank, Orlando and Paris animation studios. Most recently, Baconserved as Feature Animation's director of production finance.
DISNEY PUBLISHING WORLDWIDE has made several appointments. GUIDOMASTROPAOLO has been named Director of Global Planning and BusinessDevelopment for Disney Publishing Worldwide. Located in Paris,Mastropaolo's duties will include leading international initiatives to growrevenue by negotiating acquisitions, new business ventures and majorlicensing deals in order to ensure meeting overall publishing financialgoals. In addition, he will co-manage the strategic planning process and
Several weeks ago (Animation Flash 9/28/99) Oxygen Media, Geraldine Laybourne's company founded toprovide content for women, announced its online production team. Now OxygenMedia has named seven executive producers for its original cable televisionline-up. CARSEY WERNER MANDABACH will oversee seven hours of originalprogramming each day on the 24-hour-a-day, 7 day-a-week cable network. Thenew appointments are: LINDA CORRADINA (former Senior Vice President,Programming and Production, VH1) will join Giselle Benetar as Executive
WALT DISNEY FEATURE ANIMATION has named JEFFREY FARNATH to the post ofsenior vice president of business development and finance for Walt DisneyFeature Animation and Walt Disney Theatrical Productions. In addition tosupervising all areas of business development and finance, Farnath willnegotiate and manage international licenses for Disney's stage-showbusiness, oversee long-term strategic planning for Disney's animationproduction units and develop growth strategies for theatrical productions
FOX FILMED ENTERTAINMENT has named STEVEN BERSCH President of FOXINTERACTIVE, the studio's entertainment and sports computer and video gamesoftware unit. Bersch succeeds Fox Interactive's current President, JonRichmond, who was recently named President of New Digital Media at Fox. Inhis new position, Bersch will be directly responsible for driving allaspects of the business including the development and production of thedivision's interactive entertainment and sports games, as well as
BUENA VISTA PICTURES MARKETING has promoted MAE JOYCE to vice president ofnational publicity, and DAVID SINGH to vice president of creative filmservices. JOYCE will be responsible for strategizing, coordinating andadministrating all aspects of national publicity for films released underthe Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures and Hollywood Picturesbanners. Joyce joined Disney in November 1996 after two years as apublicist with Warner Bros. During her tenure at Disney, she has served as
DISNEY PUBLISHING WORLDWIDE has named STEVE ASTER vice president ofcirculation and global operations, and LISA HOLTON has been promoted tosenior vice president, group publisher for global children's books. ASTERwill manage global operations and production services, which includesmanufacturing, printing, and co-printing, as well as a wide range ofservices to Disney Publishing Worldwide's licensees. Aster joined The WaltDisney Company in 1998 as vice president of circulation for Buena Vista
JAMES SOMMERVILLE, co-founder of THE ATTIK, has relinquished his mostrecent role as creative director of the New York branch to oversee thedevelopment of the company throughout its five offices in Huddersfield(England), London, New York, San Francisco and Sydney. While based inLondon, Sommerville will continue to direct both commercials and long formprojects through The Attik/New York and London. Also, The Attik's executiveproducer JIM MORAN has added managing director to his title and assumed
OXYGEN MEDIA, Geraldine Laybourne's media company founded to providecontent for women, has promoted LISA GERSH HALL to chief operating officer.She will be responsible for legal matters, finance, human resources,business affairs and e-commerce. Previously, Hall was general counsel andchief administrative officer. Oxygen has also hired DAN TAITZ to be generalcounsel. He was formerly a partner with New York law firm Friedman Kaplan &Seiler.
SONY PICTURES FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT (SPFE) has hired TAMARA Y. WOOLFORK asdirector of business affairs. Woolfork will be responsible for SPFE's fullrange of business affairs negotiations for theatrical motion pictures,television and direct-to-video productions. Woolfork joins Sony from WarnerBros. Feature Animation where she served as director of business and legalaffairs for the last three years on projects such as QUEST FOR CAMELOT andTHE IRON GIANT.
SEGA GAMEWORKS, a location-based entertainment venture formed by StevenSpielberg and DreamWorks SKG, Universal Studios and Sega Enterprises, hasnamed leisure entertainment industry veteran, RON BENSION, as president andCEO. As Chairman and CEO of MCA/Universal Studios Recreation Group from1992 to 1996, Bension was responsible for running all aspects of UniversalStudios Hollywood and Universal Studios Florida in addition to developinginternational theme park joint ventures in the United Kingdom and Japan.
KLEISER-WALCZAK CONSTRUCTION CO., which has studios in North Adams,Massachusetts, Manhattan, and Hollywood, has hired JIM HATCH as chiefoperating officer. Hatch will oversee the company's daily administration,operations, and financial management, working with co-founders and ownersJeff Kleiser and Diana Walczak. Hatch previously worked at AmericanInteractive Media, Inc. where he was chief operating officer and corporatesecretary.
North Hollywood-based Film Roman's Board of Directors has decided thatDAVID PRITCHARD will no longer be president and CEO of FILM ROMAN. Thecompany is not yet ready to provide details on the circumstances ofPritchard's leaving. Chief operating officer BILL SHPALL and senior vicepresident JON VEIN will take over Pritchard's responsibilities until a newpresident is named. David Pritchard was named President and CEO of FilmRoman in August 1997. Pritchard had been CEO and partner of