Cookie Jar Entertainment, the programming and licensing arm of The Cookie Jar Group (formerly Cinar), has appointed former Storyopolis co-founder/president of Storyopolis Prods., Fonda Snyder to the newly created position of svp creative development. Snyder will be responsible for identifying, packaging and producing high quality family entertainment properties for the company.
As part of its current expansion drive, KromA has promoted Adam Fisher to visual effects artist. He had been an assistant artist with the studio for two years. Fisher recently served as lead artist on three music video projects for director Benny Boom, including WHAT IF? from AMERICAN IDOL winner Rubin Studdard. He was also part of a team of artists who performed compositing work for the Britney Spears' TOXIC video and the Busta Rhymes video LIGHT YOUR ASS ON FIRE, both directed by Joseph Kahn, as well as the Exies video MY GODDESS directed by Diane Martel.
Saban Capital Group Inc. (SCG), the private investment firm of Haim Saban, has named Joel Andryc chief creative officer of a new entertainment division, Saban Entertainment Group. Andryc will heading the creative component of Saban's entertainment investment portfolio, Andryc will lead the company's creative evaluation of new strategic opportunities, including the creation, development and acquisition of start-up ventures.
Los Angeles Police Department officers and a SWAT team surrounded the Tujunga, California, residence of voice actor Greg Burson today, who was reportedly armed with a gun and feared to be holding a woman against her will, authorities said.
Rebecca Ramsey, a producer with broad experience in commercials, feature films, theatrical trailers and broadcast media, has joined Steele VFX as exec producer. Ramsey will supervise the company's production team, oversee in-house production and manage bidding. She will also assist in new business development and will support Steele VFX's expansion effort, which targets growth both in the company's core markets-commercials and music videos-and in motion picture trailers, broadcast promotions and effects work for features and television.
Longtime senior television exec Ed Wilson, who recently left his position as president of NBC Enterprises, has joined the FOX Broadcasting Co. as president of the FOX Television Network. Wilson will be responsible for supervising all affiliate relations, advertising sales, legal, broadcast standards and Fox Ent. Group (FEG) integrated marketing operations for the network. He will also work closely with FEG on business development opportunities for the network.
John Partilla has been named president of Time Warner's Global Marketing group, effective June 14, 2004, and will hold the additional title of svp at Time Warner. Partilla succeeds Michael J. Kelly, who moved in January 2004 to Time Warner's America Online, Inc. unit as president, AOL Media Networks.
Kevin Reilly has been named president of NBC Entertainment, effective May 27, 2004. He succeeds Jeff Zucker, president, NBC Ent., News and Cable Group, and continues to report Zucker, who is relocating to New York.
Reilly's entertainment responsibilities will include primetime, late night and daytime programming and development as well as scheduling and strategic planning for the network.
Disney Channel has hired David Levine as exec director, program planning, and Penelope Jewkes as director of program planning, both based at the networks Burbank, California headquarters.
Levine will oversee the development and implementation of programming strategies for Disney Channel as well as for ABC Familys Jetix block. Jewkes will be responsible for the programming strategies related to Playhouse Disney, Disney Channels preschool programming block.
Robert Nashak joins Sorrent Inc. as vp, production of the creator and publisher of mobile entertainment. Nashak brings an extensive background in the video game and online entertainment industries to his role, driving the creative development and production of all Sorrent's mobile entertainment titles, including DRIV3R, EVERGIRL and FOX SPORTS FOOTBALL '05.
Cindy Elfenbein joins DIC Entertainment (DIC), as exec director of Retail Consumer Products to serve as the companys retail expert and liaison between the licensees and retailers. She will be responsible for building relationships with the retailers and developing support for DICs brand properties, including STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE and the recently announced TROLLZ.
Betsy McGowen, a senior exec at Kids WB! since the inception of the network in 1995, has been promoted to svp/gm of Kids WB! to oversee series development, current programming and scheduling for the network.
Reshuffling has begun as Cookie Jar Entertainment, the programming and licensing arm of The Cookie Jar Group (formerly Cinar), has appointed Sam Ewing as head of distribution, replacing Louis Fournier, the companys veteran senior sales exec who has announced that he will depart his post. In his new role with Cookie Jar, Ewing will oversee the companys international sales efforts and play an instrumental role in programming acquisitions and co-productions.
The Visual Effects Society (VES) has appointed Eric Roth as the organization's new exec director to replace founding exec director Tom Atkin. Roth brings more than 15 years of strategic management, communications and public affairs experience to his new position. Through his work as the former executive director of L.A. Works, Los Angeles' premier volunteer action center, Roth also gained critical working knowledge of the non-profit sector.
Sean Coleman, a colorist with a strong following among leading commercial and music video directors, has joined Company 3's office in Santa Monica. Coleman arrives from Rushes/601 in Los Angeles, where his recent credits included spots for Nike, Nokia and Sony Playstation, and music videos for such artists as Sigur Ros and Lenny Kravitz. In his first project for Company 3, Coleman is handling final color correction on a campaign for Adidas directed by Park Pictures' Lance Acord for TBWA Worldwide.
MASTERSFX has promoted Dan Rebert to the new position of FX producer. The company is involved in the production of special effects for KINGDOM HOSPITAL, SIX FEET UNDER, STARGATE SG-1 and STARGATE ATLANTIS, among several others.
Rebert originally joined MASTERSFX in 2000 as art director and shop supervisor. Since joining MASTERSFX, he has worked on numerous projects and continues to explore and develop new effects technology.
Shuffle Inc., an international television commercial production company with offices in Venice, California, and Tokyo, Japan, has named David Bando as its new exec producer.
In his new position, Bando will work with advertising agencies and Shuffle directors on the production of TV commercials worldwide. He will oversee all aspects of television show and TV commercial production, as well as post-production, and will also be responsible for the companys expansion and development of its TV commercial division and overall growth.
Joe Hartwick, Twentieth Century Fox's president of physical production, has been upped to oversee a new vfx department at the studio, given the high volume of effects-laden event films and the need to shift priorities and streamline costs. Hartwick will not only coordinate the visual effects needs of all Fox films, but also serve as liaison for the effects houses collaborating with them.
The Walt Disney Co. has made some sweeping changes this week in the top executive ranks at the ABC network. Anne Sweeney and George Bodenheimer have been named co-chairs of Disney's Media Networks unit. Sweeney will be adding the ABC Television Network, which includes ABC Entertainment, ABC Daytime, ABC News and Touchstone Television to her portfolio of responsibilities, while Bodenheimer remains head of ESPN Inc. and ABC Sports.
Griffin Guess has been promoted from sales exec to the newly created post of Director of Commercials and Music Videos at Encore Hollywood, where will head sales for Encores recently formed short-form post-production team.
Joseph L. Lias is the new president of THX Ltd., the creator of superior cinema presentation standards and the leading provider of product certification and venue design for entertainment and consumer electronics. Lias will capitalize on entertainment presentation technology developed by THX, and will leverage his successful entrepreneurial track record, built over two decades, to expand the capabilities of THX in digital entertainment technology. Ivan Fujihara will remain as gm and will continue to oversee THX quality assurance programs and standards.
SignaSys Inc. has promoted Jeff Wolter from western region systems sales manager to director, sales.
Wolter's career in sales management began with non-technology companies, including Phoenix Technologies Environmental Services and Random Snowboards. In 1999, he parlayed his experience into the television technology industry with Media Site and later with Convera, an Intel-backed media management software company.
Vivendi Universal Games (VU Games) has appointed Mark J. Halacy to evp, Global Human Resources, overseeing the company's global HR operations across North America, Europe and Asia.
"Mark has led many successful HR development initiatives across large-scale, global organizations," said Bruce Hack, ceo of VU Games, to whom Halacy will report. "He will play an important leadership role at VU Games, as we aim to strengthen our global practices and capabilities."
Pixar's former cfo Ann Mather, who recently stepped down from that post, has joined the board of directors of European broadcast group, Central European Media Enterprises (CME), reported VARIETY. Mather will be a non-exec director on the audit and compensation committees. Prior Pixar, she served as evp/cfo for Village Roadshow Pictures. Prior to that, she was a svp of finance at Disney. CME owns television stations in Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia and the Ukraine.