Longtime industry executive takes the helm of giant kids’ content company that includes brands like ‘Peanuts,’ ‘Teletubbies’ and ‘Inspector Gadget.’
DHX Media has just announced they’ve appointed Eric Ellenbogen as their new CEO and Vice Chair of the Board of Directors, effective today. The longtime industry exec, who joined the company as an advisor this past April, takes over from Michael Donovan, who stepped down from his role as CEO. Donovan has also stepped down as Executive Chair and will continue to serve on the Board as Founding Chair. Donald Wright has been appointed non-executive Chair.
DHX Media, headquartered in Canada, owns the world’s largest independent library of kids’ content, including properties like Teletubbies, Inspector Gadget and the Degrassi franchise, as well as part of Peanuts.
“We are delighted to announce that Eric will lead DHX Media in fully realizing the value of our extraordinary media assets," Wright said. "Eric brings fresh leadership and a clear vision to our Company, as well as a 30-year track record of creating significant shareholder value in the media space. In the nine months since he has joined our Board, while also serving as a strategic advisor, he has worked closely with our senior leadership team and gained a deep understanding of our Company. Given his broad perspective and decades of relevant industry experience and success, we are confident that Eric will be able to move the Company forward from the get-go as CEO. We thank Michael for his many years of leadership and vision. As founder of DHX Media, Michael has played a significant role in building the Company into the global entertainment force it is today. We are pleased that he will remain on the Board."
"DHX Media has an unmatched portfolio of kids' and family content with high-profile, beloved characters, including Peanuts, Teletubbies, Strawberry Shortcake, Caillou, and Inspector Gadget," Ellenbogen shared. "In addition to its library and leading animation studios, DHX Media has built a truly unique asset in WildBrain – one of the largest kids' networks on YouTube – with unparalleled reach and engagement. I'm pleased to have the opportunity to work with the management team, employees and our many valued partners and customers to deliver leading content and brands for audiences worldwide."
Ellenbogen has spent more than 30 years as a senior executive at numerous entertainment businesses. He was president of Lorne Michael’s Broadway Video Entertainment TV and film production company; president of Golden Books Family Entertainment; and president and CEO of Marvel Enterprises before its acquisition by Disney. He co-founded Classic Media in 2000, which became one of the largest private owners of branded kids' and family entertainment before its 2012 acquisition by DreamWorks Animation. At DWA, Ellenbogen became co-head of DreamWorks Classics and DreamWorks International Television and was largely responsible for the company's entry into the television business. Following DWA's sale to NBCUniversal, Ellenbogen became co-president of Classic Media, which was restarted as a business unit of NBCUniversal.
Ellenbogen was a board director of Golden Books and Marvel, then both public companies, and is a Trustee of the Public Theater in New York City among other civic involvements. He is a graduate of Harvard College and holds an MBA from UCLA.
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.