Jean MacCurdy’s four-year stint as president of Kids’ WB! programming has come to an end; the position has been assumed by Donna Friedman, formerly VP of marketing and associate creative director at Nickelodeon. MacCurdy will retain the title of president of Warner Bros. TV Animation and Hanna Barbera, overseeing development and sales of the studio’s animated TV product.
According to Susanne Daniels, entertainment president at the WB, the move is part of a larger reorganization that will transform Kids’ WB! (formerly operated under the auspices of Warner Bros. TV Animation) into an in-house operation. According to Daniels, the network had long-standing plans to bring its kids block
in-house once the parent network was prepared to make the financial commitment.
The move will mean that Kids’ WB! will be more receptive to outside product. ‘Most of our own product is WB-generated and WB-owned,’ says Daniels, ‘but that doesn’t mean it has to come through Warner Bros. TV Animation.’ She adds that a select amount of outside development and some acquisitions will be pursued by Friedman.
At Nickelodeon, Friedman was part of the original team that launched the channel and wrote the ‘How-to Nick’ philosophy statement. Subsequently, she was instrumental in Nick’s launches in the U.K. and Latin America.