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Digital Headline News

Massive Software Expands Management Team

Massive Software, developer of the Academy Award-winning 3D animation software for AI-driven characters and digital stunts, announced a company expansion in tandem with the rapid growth of its reach into the film and television production space. Massive has tapped Nick Divehall, former Alias senior manager, for the role of vp of Business Development. Concurrently, Massive announced an initial suite of channel partners to handle product sales in Japan, Australia, Hong Kong, London and Montreal.

Dreamworks Headline News

DreamWorks Animation Banks on Lew Coleman as New President

Lewis Coleman, a DreamWorks Animation board member and former vice chairman and cfo of Bank of America, has been named president of DreamWorks Animation.

Coleman, reporting to DreamWorks Animation ceo, Jeffrey Katzenberg, will lead the company's efforts with Katzenberg and coo Ann Daly, as it continues to produce two computer-generated animated movies per year and expands its business activities in direct-to-video movies, a growing licensing business, Broadway musicals and live entertainment. All execs who previously reported to Katzenberg will now report to Coleman.

Television Headline News

Rob Feldman New SPTI Exec Director, Production

In response to its growing international production business, Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) has appointed Rob Feldman as exec director, production. In his new position, Feldman will initiate production of SPTI's local language versions of scripted formats in countries across Central and Eastern Europe as well as Russia and the C.I.S. Additionally, he will be responsible for establishing local production relationships with producers and broadcasters and overseeing SPTI's local language productions from pre-production through post-production.

Kids Headline News

Sandy Wax & Andrew Beecham to Lead PBS KIDS Sprout

PBS KIDS Sprout, a new television and online provider of content devoted to preschool children and their parents and caregivers, has appointed Sandy Wax president of the network and Andrew Beecham has joined svp of programming. In addition, Diana Kerekes, vp/general counsel of content development for Comcast Corp., assumes a seat on the PBS KIDS Sprout board of directors after serving as acting gm for the network during its development and launch.

Directors Headline News

Viacom Names Independent Directors to Boards of CBS & New Viacom

Viacom Inc. today (Nov. 22, 2005) announced the election of seven independent directors to the boards of the two new publicly traded companies that will be created following the separation of Viacom. Four directors join the board of CBS Corp. and three directors join the board of new Viacom, upon completion of the separation, is expected to occur by the end of 2005.

Headline News

Eric Kops New Paramount Pictures SVP Worldwide Publicity

Eric Kops has been named svp, national publicity, Paramount Pictures, to lead the department in strategizing and executing national campaigns for the companys diverse slate of upcoming releases, including GET RICH OR DIE TRYING, AEON FLUX and YOURS MINE AND OURS. He will be based at the companys worldwide headquarters in Los Angeles.

Kops joins the Paramount team from MGM, where he led the campaigns on such commercial and critical hits as the James Bond installment DIE ANOTHER DAY, the LEGALLY BLONDE and BARBERSHOP series, HOTEL RWANDA, GHOST WORLD AND SAVED.

Disney Headline News

Barry Blumberg Resigns President’s Post at Walt Disney TV Animation

After 11 years overseeing Walt Disney Television Animation (WDTVA), ultimately as president, Barry Blumberg announced his resignation from the group. He will remain with the company through the end of January to aid in the integration of the WDTVA Group into Disney Channel Worldwide. An announcement concerning the restructuring of Walt Disney Television Animation and its integration into Disney Channel Worldwide will be forthcoming.

Productions Headline News

Cary Silver Upped to Production VP at Mike Young Prods.

Cary Silver has been promoted to vp of production at Mike Young Productions (MYP), one of the largest animation studios in North America. He will continue in his role as producer on hit shows such as PET ALIEN and JAKERS! THE ADVENTURES OF PIGGLEY WINKS, among others. Additionally, he will work alongside and report to MYP/Taffy principals Mike Young, Bill Schultz and Liz Young about in-house productions as well as the continued development of international co-productions.

Universal Headline News

Universal Home Ent. Family Prods. Ups Patti Jackson and Ellen Cockrill

To build and enhance its production efforts, Universal Studios Home Ent. Family Prods. (USHEFP) has promoted Ellen Cockrill to svp, animation production and Patti Jackson to svp, live action production.

Jackson will continue to oversee the development and production of live-action family fare, while Cockrill will supervise all animated series and movies for the group. They both report to Glenn Ross, gm/evp, USHEFP and will be based at the studioâs Universal City headquarters.

Universal Headline News

Bruce Campbell New EVP, Business Development For NBC Universal

Bruce Campbell has been upped to evp, business development for NBC Universal, replacing Brandon Burgess, who resigned as evp, business development & International Channels at NBC Universal and will join Paxson Communications Corp. as ceo.

Work Headline News

Dave Kiddie Joins Rushes VFX Team

Rushes Postproduction Ltd. has signed visual effects artist Dave Kiddie.

He has built up an impressive list of credits over the last seven years, gaining extensive experience on high-end commercials for the likes of Coca-Cola and Barclays, as well as working on music videos for some of the worlds biggest artists, including Kylies Cant Get You Out Of My Head and The Streets Blinded by the Lights. He has also worked on slick and stylized feature films such as MEAN MACHINE and broadcast work for the BBC.

Creative Headline News

Noodlesoup Founder to Stir up Creative Juices at The Creative Group

Jeff Nodelman, the award-winning director and animator responsible for founding and building Noodlesoup Prods. into a leading independent animation studio in New York City, has joined NYC-based The Creative Group as creative director in charge of animation. Nodelman is charged with the formation of an animation studio infrastructure to develop, produce and market original animated brands for television, film and DVD.

Media Headline News

Michael J. Wolf New MTV Networks President/COO

Michael J. Wolf has been named president/coo of MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom Inc. In this newly created senior executive position, Wolf will lead the company's business and technology operations, including Advertising Sales, Affiliate Sales and Marketing, Business and Strategy Development, Business and Legal Affairs, Finance, Information Systems and Technology, and Production Operations. He will also help set and implement MTVs evolving multiplatform strategy to serve its audiences across all screens with the most compelling content.

Kids Headline News

Ken Olshansky to Tap U.S. for Granada Kids

Ken Olshansky joins Granada Kids as vp, creative affairs: kids, responsible for developing pre-school and animation programming with a specific focus on the U.S. market.

He will be based in New York and travel frequently to London to work with the teams based there.

Olshanskys extensive experience includes serving as svp at Scholastic, overseeing CLIFFORDS PUPPY DAYS (PBS) and the Emmy Award-winning I SPY (HBO). Previously he was vp, creative affairs, at Sunbow Ent., and was the creative force behind THE CRAMP TWINS (Cartoon Network, BBC).

Work Headline News

KromA Hires Producer Jen Lahotski

Continuing to grow, visual effects, animation and finishing studio KromA has added producer/sales representative Jen Lahotski to its staff. Lahotski will work to support the companys current expansion into visual effects work for television and feature films. Her responsibilities will include new business development and client relations. She will also help to facilitate in-house production.

Digital Headline News

Jason Hirschhorn Named MTV Networks 1st Chief Digital Officer

Jason Hirschhorn has been appointed MTV Networks inaugural chief digital officer (cdo). cross-company strategies for growing MTV Networks' existing and future brands -- including the music, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and Spike channels -- across all existing and emerging digital platforms. He will also coordinate the business, product development and technical operations of MTV Networks' expanding portfolio of digital media businesses while overseeing new acquisitions in the interactive space, including recently-acquired IFILM.

Dreamworks Headline News

Karl M. von der Heyden Joins DreamWorks Animation Board of Directors

Karl M. von der Heyden has been elected to the DreamWorks Animation board of directors.

He served as vice chairman, a member of the board of directors and cfo of PepsiCo Inc. from September 1996 to February 2001. During that period, he was instrumental in the company's spinoff of its restaurant operations, the acquisitions of Tropicana and Quaker Oats, and the IPO of the Pepsi Bottling Group.

Home Headline News

Ronald Sanders to Head Warner Home Video

As part of the reorganization and establishment of the recent Warner Bros. Home Ent. Group, Ronald Sanders has been named president, Warner Home Video. He assumes responsibility for the overall worldwide operation of Warner Home Video, including sales, marketing, distribution, finance, administration and physical operations.