National Geographic Ventures (NGV) has named William Weil evp, strategy, marketing and entertainment; and Patricia Najda vp, domestic home entertainment.
John Landgraf has been named president/gm, FX Networks, replacing former FX Networks president/ceo Peter Liguori who joined FOX Broadcasting Co. as its president of Entertainment. Landgraf will be responsible for all business and programming operations including program development, scheduling, marketing, public relations, research and business affairs for FX Networks, which consists of FX and Fox Movie Channel.
Changes in top leadership roles at MTV and VH1 include the appointment of Christina Norman as president of MTV: Music Television and Tom Calderone as gm of VH1.
Leading post-production boutique Post Logic Studios has appointed Manny Fernandez to the newly created position of managing director of its Manhattan-based satellite Post Logic N.Y.C. Opened in March 2004 with a focus on long form work, the New York operation has flourished since its inception and will now broaden its client base to include television and commercial projects. To accommodate its new clientele, Post Logic N.Y.C. has added a second Spirit HD/SD telecine.
Noodlesoup Prods. (NSP) has signed 3D director/animator Doug Johnson. Johnson has directed spots for such clients as Novartis, IBM, Nabisco, SBC, Combe Inc. and Nickelodeon. He has also been a lead CG animator on numerous award-winning spots for Orkin, Primeco, Sci Fi Channel, AT&T, Bell South and others.
Jeff Herrera has been appointed to the newly created position of vp multicultural marketing for Universal Studios Home Ent. (USHE), to oversee the crafting and implementation of marketing strategies aimed at Latinos, African-Americans, and other ethnic groups. Herrera will work closely with USHE's sales and marketing departments to develop strategies and programs as well as play a key role in identifying and implementing partnership opportunities between USHE and its NBC Universal sister company, Spanish-language television network, Telemundo.
B. Susan Kirch has been promoted to vp, creative affairs for DisneyToon Studios, responsible for developing original scripts and stories as well as sequels to Disney¹s animated successes. Kirch will be working with filmmakers through all stages of production on films that will be distributed by Disneys Buena Vista Home Entertainment and Buena Vista Pictures Distribution¹s theatrical division.
Kirch reports jointly to Sharon Morrill, president of DisneyToon Studios and to Ellen Gurney, svp of creative affairs.
Emmy Award-winning Los Angeles visual effects and design company A52 has hired Andrew Hall, formerly a feature film animation supervisor for Digital Domain, as CG supervisor.
Hall began his career at London's The Motion Picture Co., earning the title of senior animator and working on numerous TV commercials and features, including THE ENGLISH PATIENT, TOMORROW NEVER DIES, RICHARD III and THE MIRACLE MAKER.
A former boyfriend of Sydney teenager has been committed to stand trial for allegedly murdering an 18-year-old Walt Disney animator, Lyndsay van Blanken, according to many newspaper accounts in Australia.
William Matheson, 22, was committed on April 27, 2005, in Sydney's Central Local Court over her death in November 2003. A trial date has yet to be set.
Accounts say he was the last person known to see van Blanken alive on Nov. 24, 2003, outside the Charing Cross Hotel in Waverley, in Sydney's east.
Former Comedy Central and MGM Interactive executive, Kenneth Locker has joined Cookie Jar Entertainment, the programming and licensing arm of Cookie Jar Group, in the newly created position of svp of Digital Media, Cookie Jar. Locker will be responsible for leveraging new and existing content for the company, across a variety of platforms, including the Internet, wireless, broadband and IPTV.
Vince Roberts has been promoted to the newly created position of evp, worldwide technology and operations, Disney-ABC Cable Networks Group and Walt Disney Television International. He will be responsible for the global technical and operational strategic direction and ongoing management of all television and IT functions across the Disney-ABC Cable Networks Group, including Disney Channel, Toon Disney, SOAPnet, ABC Family and JETIX; and Walt Disney Television International, including, Disney-branded networks in Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, Japan and Canada.
Brad Weston joins Paramount Pictures as co-president, production, overseeing the day-to-day development and production of the studio's annual slate of films and literary acquisitions along with fellow co-president Alli Shearmur, who was appointed on April 14, 2005. Weston will report to Paramount Pictures president Gail Berman.
Jill Lindeman joins Disney ABC Cable Networks Group as vp/creative director for marketing, Disney Channel, responsible for the creative direction and management of all on-air promotion for Disney Channel, Toon Disney, Jetix, Playhouse Disney and ABC Kids, including the development and production of interstitials for Disney Channel. Additionally, Lindeman has oversight of the creative direction for off-air initiatives including print production, online development and marketing collateral.
She reports to Matt Palmer, svp, marketing, Disney Channel, in Burbank, California.
The Art Institute of California Los Angeles has promoted Aaron Lyle to academic director for Media Arts & Animation.
Aarons connections to industry are an enormous benefit to the program and school; our students and faculty will benefit tremendously from his expertise, said Dave Moughalian, dean of Academic Affairs.
Margaret C. Whitman, president/ceo of eBay, has been elected to DreamWorks Animations board of directors.
"Meg is someone that both Roger Enrico and I have been courting to join our board of directors for many months," said Jeffrey Katzenberg, DreamWorks Animation ceo. "Having had the opportunity to work with her in the past, I know firsthand what an exceptional talent she is and believe that her expertise in building a global brand combined with her consumer technology experience really makes her a perfect fit for our company."
Cartoon Network has promoted Pola Changnon to vp of on-air and exec producer of program production. She will be responsible for managing and directing all on-air production that comprises the signature environments of both Cartoon Network and Boomerang-from network IDs and spots, to original and acquired series promotion and packaging, to interstitials and production work on network specials and stunts.
Janet Hetherington takes a look at Sonys new PlayStation Portable and the challenges of creating big games for the small screen.
NewTek Inc. has named Jay Roth president of the 3D graphics division of the company. Roth, co-founder and former CEO of Electric Image Inc., has 25 years experience in the 3D visual effects and graphics industry. In his new role Roth will oversee the expansion of the 3D product line, the advancement of technical innovation in LightWave 3D, along with sales and marketing efforts relating to NewTeks 3D graphics offerings.
Mark Lasoff has joined Alias Santa Barbara, California-based Custom Development Center (CDC) as entertainment consulting manager. In his new role at the CDC, Lasoff will work with Alias' software engineers to design and implement new workflow tools and custom software solutions for production facilities and key customers that rely heavily on the Maya, Alias MotionBuilder, and Alias SketchBook Pro family of products.
Helen Blayney joins Celador International as senior sales manger, kids division, where she will be responsible for sales of the companys growing portfolio of childrens programming, including ROOBARB & CUSTARD and TALES OF THE RIVERBANK. Blayney reports to Cathy Laughton, who joined London-based Celador Intl in February 2005 as head of kids programming to champion of its new kids division, Celador International Kids.
Bob Feldman joins DreamWorks Animation SKG in Glendale, California, as head of corporate communications. DreamWorks Animation was recently spun off as a publicly traded company listed on the New York Stock Exchange (DWA) from the private company DreamWorks SKG. Feldman reports to Jeffrey Katzenberg and Ann Daly, the company's chief executive and chief operating officers.
John Cohen has been promoted from director of development to vp of production at Twentieth Century Fox Animation and continues to report to Chris Meledandri, president of the Fox Animation unit.
Buena Vista International Television (BVITV) has promoted four senior members of its sales teams in Europe. Carsten Fink, based in Munich, Damian Newton, in London and Francesca Tauriello, in Rome, have been promoted to vice president, sales & distribution, German-speaking Europe, vice president, sales, Pay TV/New Technologies and executive director, sales, Northern Mediterranean markets respectively. Tatjana Vucanovic has also been promoted, to executive director, sales, Central & Eastern Europe.
Paramount Pictures new management team under chairman and ceo Brad Grey has promoted Alli Shearmur to co-president, production.
Shearmur, formerly an evp of production at Paramount, will oversee the day-to-day development and production of the studio's annual slate of films and literary acquisitions. Shearmur will report to president Gail Berman, who officially starts in May.
After 13 years as head of international sales, Nelvana has promoted Emmanuele Petry to the new role of overseeing European development and international co-production.
"Emma has done an outstanding job building Nelvana's business in Europe and establishing important relationships with all of our key broadcasters," said Doug Murphy, evp business development.