America Online (Dulles, Virginia, 703-448-8700): Robert Pittman to president and chief operating officer.
Barnes & Noble (New York, New York, 212-633-3300): Mary Ellen Keating to senior VP, corporate communications and public affairs. Keating will also serve as a member of the company’s executive committee.
DDB Needham Worldwide (Chicago, Illinois, 312-552-6000): Janet Riccio to senior VP, international account director on the McDonald’s account.
Discovery Channel Pictures (Bethesda, Maryland, 301-986-0444): Mike Boyd to director, marketing and field relations.
The Family Channel (Virginia Beach, Virginia, 757-459-6000): Gary Brand to VP, on-air promotion, family programming. Ann Brown to VP, advertiser marketing. Brown will be based in New York.
Fox Filmed Entertainment (Los Angeles, California, 310-369-1000): Robert Harper to president, worldwide marketing. Harper will oversee the marketing for all of Fox Filmed Entertainment, including theatrical, home entertainment, licensing and merchandising, music and Fox Searchlight Pictures.
Grey Advertising (New York, New York, 212-546-2000): Steven Balmer, executive VP and managing director, and vice chairman Alan Kupchick are transferring from Los Angeles to New York to take over management of Grey’s Kraft Foods account. Balmer succeeds Carol Herman, who is leaving the company to consult, and Kupchick succeeds Scott Kulok, who is also leaving Grey. In Los Angeles, western division CEO Jeff Alperin will assume Balmer’s duties.
Jim Henson Productions (Los Angeles, California, 213-960-4096): Margaret Loesch to president, television group, with responsibility for the company’s worldwide television operations. She will be responsible for all current and future television programming opportunities, including all television development, production and distribution, both domestically and internationally; domestic and international program acquisitions; worldwide video; and the creation and oversight of a soon-to-be-announced general entertainment cable channel. Isabel Miller to executive VP, consumer products worldwide. Miller is responsible for developing products and worldwide licensing relationships for the company’s properties, including the Muppets, Muppet Babies, The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss and Bear in the Big Blue House. Her role includes supervising the marketing and development of all consumer brands in the company’s licensing and publishing divisions in conjunction with ongoing production as well as independent merchandising programs.
Knowledge Universe (Los Angeles, California, 310-440-3660): Sarina Simon joins as senior VP, content, research and development. Simon will focus on building and acquiring properties and companies that provide products and services for children and families.
LIVE Entertainment (Van Nuys, California, 818-908-0303): Karen Samfilippo to VP, national publicity.
McDonald’s Corporation (Oak Brook, Illinois, 630-623-3000): Jim Skinner to president, Europe group. Skinner will oversee European business.
MTV (New York, New York, 212-258-8000): Paul Debenedittis joins as director, planning and scheduling.
Murray Associates (Fort Lee, New Jersey, 201-944-2982): Murray Altchuler, co-founder and former executive director of the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association, has formed his own consulting service. He will be offering consulting services in licensing, marketing, impartial arbitration and expert witness.
National Geographic Television (Washington, D.C., 202-857-7680): Ken Ferguson joins as chief financial officer and chief administrative officer. Ferguson is responsible for all financial, accounting and budgeting matters. He is charged with overall strategic planning for the division, including existing operations as well as new markets and new technologies.
NBC Enterprises (Burbank, California, 818-840-4444): The company announced the formation of Strategic Ventures Group, a new unit to handle ancillary exploitation and marketing of all NBC Studios’ and NBC Enterprises’ products. David Eun has been promoted to VP, NBC Enterprises, and will head up the new department.
Paramount International Television (Los Angeles, California, 310-575-7000): Joseph Lucas to executive VP, sales and marketing. Lucas will take an expanded role in overall division management, including involvement in Paramount’s original programming development for the international market.
PolyGram Video (New York, New York, 212-333-8000): Suzette Schafer joins in the newly created position of director of national accounts, western region. Schafer will spearhead sales efforts to national accounts in the western half of the U.S. Billy Northup to senior director of national accounts. Sal Scamardo to senior director of specialty programming. Scamardo will direct efforts for the company’s specialty products and manage the development of new specialty product categories. Laura Smith to senior director of children’s marketing. Smith will be responsible for marketing of children’s video products. Evelyn Carrasco to coordinator of theatrical marketing. Carrasco will implement and enhance theatrical marketing programs.
Saatchi & Saatchi (New York, New York, 212-463-2000): Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi, the Latin American network for Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide, has hired Geesji Viguie to establish a pan-regional media department for Latin America based in the agency’s Miami office. Viguie will develop regional media systems and will be responsible for the agency’s media negotiations for pan-regional buys in Latin America.
Saban Entertainment (Los Angeles, California, 310-235-5100): Jorge Ferreiro joins as VP, creative, licensing and merchandising. Jamie Simons joins as editorial director, licensing and merchandising. Tracy Parsons joins as director, soft lines, licensing and merchandising. Barry Seaton joins as director, business and legal affairs. Michael Cutler joins as manager, business affairs. Johanna Candido joins as manager, business affairs, licensing and merchandising.
Sears, Roebuck and Co. (Hoffman Estates, Illinois, 847-286-2500): Margaret R. Rist to senior VP, men’s and children’s apparel. Rist will have management responsibilities for men’s apparel and furnishings, children’s apparel, furniture and video games.
Sesame Place (Langhorne, Pennsylvania, 215-752-7070): Richard Lisk to director of promotions. Merri Lutzker Stephens to manager of public relations and special events. Sesame Place is a theme park featuring the characters from Sesame Street, targeted at families with children between the ages of two and 13.
Tribune Broadcasting (Chicago, Illinois, 312-222-4444): Thomas Leach to VP, strategy and development. Gina Mazzaferri to controller and director, finance. Anne Cray to manager, financial reporting.
Turner Learning (Atlanta, Georgia, 404-827-3149): Marc Kaufman joins as curriculum development manager. Kaufman will be responsible for science and math-related curriculum development for CNN NEWSROOM & World View and other educational products. He will also focus on making the Web site more classroom-relevant, as well as on organizing student and teacher contributions to the Web site. Turner Learning Inc. is the educational arm of Turner Broadcasting.
Twentieth Century Fox International Television (Los Angeles, California, 310-369-1000): Mark Rosenbaum joins as VP. Rosenbaum will assist in overseeing all aspects of the sales and operations. Randall Broman to VP, European sales. Broman will increase his sales responsibilities for various European territories and will be more involved in working on overall strategy for the European region. He will be based in the London office.
United Media (New York, New York, 212-293-8500): Beth Feldman to director, apparel licensing. Feldman will manage licensed apparel programs for properties including Peanuts, Dilbert and Wallace and Gromit.
Universal Pictures (Universal City, California, 818-777-1000): Andrew Given to senior VP, physical production. Stacy Barger to VP, international advertising and promotion. Elizabeth Gaynes to VP, international marketing. Universal Pictures has formed Universal Pictures Animation and Visual Effects, a new division specifically dedicated to developing and producing fully animated feature films, with particular focus on non-traditional, computer-generated technology. Jointly heading the new venture will be senior VP of production technology John Swallow and Douglas Wood, who will serve as VP of animation production and creative affairs.
USA Networks (Los Angeles, California, 310-201-2334): Steve Rosenberg to president of the domestic television distribution unit. Rosenberg will oversee the sales of all first-run and off-network properties, as well as Universal’s television library, to domestic broadcast and cable outlets. He will also oversee the marketing and promotion, research, advertising sales and domestic distribution legal departments.
Venture Licensing (Don Mills, Canada, 416-443-0825): Sharon Capotosto to VP and general manager. Capotosto will continue to oversee the entire operation, focusing on new property acquisition and manufacturing sales.
Vx2 (Addison, Illinois, 630-834-7800): Lina Trivedi to president. Nik Trivedi to VP. Vx2 is a new Web design and marketing firm, established by the creative team that handled the Web site and other creative work of Ty Inc., manufacturer of Beanie Babies.
Wal-Mart (Bentonville, Arkansas, 501-273-4000): Lee Scott to president of Wal-Mart Stores division. Bob Connolly to executive VP, merchandising.
Warner Bros. (Burbank, California, 818-954-6000): Nancy Kirkpatrick to senior VP of publicity. Kirkpatrick will oversee publicity campaigns for selected motion pictures while acting as a strategic resource to the department.
Australian Children’s Television Foundation (Fitzroy, Australia, 61-3-9419-8800): Jane Smith appointed to the board as the representative of the New South Wales government. Smith is director of the New South Wales Film and Television Office.
Columbia TriStar International Television (London, England, 44-171-533-1000): John McMahon to executive VP, European operations. McMahon will oversee all European, Middle East and African territories, as well as territories in the former Soviet Union.
Gaumont (Paris, France, 33-1-40-18-7200): Thomas Kornfield to director of international sales. Kornfield will be responsible for the sale of television product to Asian territories.
ProSieben (Munich, Germany, 49-89-9507-1180): Rola Zayed to executive VP, international fiction division. Tim Halkin to senior VP, international fiction division and managing director of the subsidiary ProSieben Home Entertainment. Halkin’s responsibilities include international feature co-productions and the purchasing of theatrical and video rights.
Southern Star (North Sydney, Australia, 61-2-9202-8555): Greg Phillips to head of worldwide television distribution. Cathy Payne to deputy head of worldwide television distribution. Payne will be selling directly into Australia, New Zealand and North America, as well as overseeing the rest of the world sales team. She will also manage all of the division’s marketing requirements.
Village Roadshow Pictures (Sydney, Australia, 61-2-9519-1366): Bernie Goldmann to president of production. He will be based in Los Angeles.