Beyond Distribution (Sydney, Australia, 61-29-281-1266): Jennifer Buzzelli comes on-board as VP of international sales, U.S.A and Latin America. Buzzelli was most recently director of sales at DLT Entertainment.
Cartoon Network (Atlanta, Georgia, 404-885-2263): Brian Miller has been named VP and GM of the new Burbank-based animation production house Cartoon Network Studios. Miller will oversee production of original series. Miller was formerly with Nickelodeon’s Nicktoons Animation Studio as VP of production. email@example.com
Columbia Pictures (Los Angeles, California, 310-244-4000): George Leon has been named senior VP of promotions for theatrical marketing. Leon was previously promotions VP at Fox Family Worldwide/Saban Entertainment.
Disney/ABC Cable Networks (New York, New York, 212-456-7777): Adam Sanderson has been promoted to senior VP of marketing from his previous job as VP of marketing. John Rood comes on-board as VP of marketing from a stint at Warner Bros. Consumer Products as director of promotions and branded food. Hope Winter was promoted to executive director of brand management from her job as director of promotion marketing for the Disney Channel. David Watson has also been upped to director of online from his job as senior producer at Disney Online, and Todd Hatley has been upped to director of promotions from his position as senior manager of promotions for the Disney Channel.
Energee Entertainment (Sydney, Australia, 61-2-9906-6800): Mark Slattery jumped ship from ABC International as senior sales executive to join Energee’s sales team.
Entertainment Rights (London, England, 44-171-432-0324): Alix Wiseman has been named sales manager from her previous position as program sales executive at Channel 4 International. Joss Duffield has been named sales executive, and Susannah Cobbold comes on-board as sales and marketing executive from a stint as project manager for Cinar Europe.
FAO Schwarz (New York, New York, 212-644-9410): Joseph J. Caparella III has been upped to executive VP of stores and operations from his job as senior VP of operations and training. Lauryce Graves has been upped to executive VP of catalog, Internet, licensing and product development from a previous position as senior buyer. Dik Glass has also been promoted to executive VP of store development and Harold E. Prout has been upped to executive VP and CFO from senior VP.
Fox Family Channel (Los Angeles, California, 310-235-5100): Joel Andryc has been upped to executive VP of kids programming and development at Fox Family Channel and Fox Kids from his previous post as senior VP of programming and development at Fox Family. Amy Goldberg has also been promoted to senior VP of motion pictures and television at Fox Family Television Studios and Saban Entertainment from her previous post as VP of the same department.
Greenlight International (Munich, Germany, 49-89-121-5960): Lynn Chadwick has been named VP of the company. Chadwick was most recently VP of International at Canadian-based Salter Street Film International. Jaap Joost Breijinek will take on the role of director of licensing at Greenlight Merchandising KG. He was most recently with the sales department at Magus Entertainment/Greenlight International.
Headbone Interactive (Seattle, Washington, 206-378-1259): Chuck Gamble is now director of TV, in addition to his previous job as creative director, and Annette Rivlin comes on-board as producer for the Headbone Web site from a position at Big Blue Dot. Kristen Estrella also joins the company as manager of business development and sales from a stint at Quote.com.
Honkworm (Seattle, Washington, 206-728-8460): Jeffrey Kramer comes on-board as president of Honkworm’s cross-media division. Kramer was formerly president of David E. Kelley Productions.
itsy bitsy Entertainment (New York, New York, 212-989-3660): Violeta Gutierrez comes on-board as senior licensing manager, international from a stint at Mattel as associate product manager for Barbie licensing.
JP Kids (San Francisco, California, 415-371-8600): Liz Nealon and Miranda Barry have both been promoted to senior VP and executive producer and senior VP of creative affairs, respectively. Nealon was VP and executive producer and Barry was VP of creative affairs. Michelle Weiss has also been upped to VP of development from her position as director of development/animation specialist.
Kids’ WB! (Burbank, California, 818-977-5000): Rusty Mintz has been upped to senior VP of program scheduling from VP of the same department. Mintz will oversee all prime time and Kids WB! scheduling.
Mondo Media (San Francisco, California, 415-865-2700): Robin Harper has been named senior VP of marketing at the animated content and distribution company. Harper recently worked at EA’s Ninth House Network where she was VP of Marketing.
MTV Networks (New York, New York, 212-258-8000): Michele Megan Dix has been named VP of development, in addition to her existing title of VP of music and talent programming at the network. Elli Cola has also been promoted to VP of music and talent from her post as director of the same division. Elinor Hirschhorn has been named senior VP of global business development and strategic partnerships at the MTVi Group.
Nelvana (Toronto, Canada, 416-588-5571): Caroline Wong joins the prodco as executive director of North American licensing from a stint at United Media where she served as licensing and retail manager.
Nickelodeon (New York, New York, 212-258-7500): Ian Fairweather has been named new GM of Nickelodeon Australia. Fairweather was most recently acting CEO of Australia’s XYZ Entertainment. Laura E. Wendt has been upped to senior VP of Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite and TV land research and planning from her job as head of research for Nickelodeon International.
Pacific Data Images (Palo Alto, California, 650-846-8100): Aron Warner has been named the new head of the computer animation and commercial production company. He joined PDI in 1997 as a producer on Antz. Warner takes over from Jim DeRose who resigned as CEO and president.
Saban Consumer Products (Los Angeles, California, 310-235-5454): Jorge Ferreiro has been promoted to senior VP of creative resources, a position that covers Fox Kids, Fox Family Channel, Saban Consumer Products, Saban Entertainment and Saban International. Ferreiro most recently served as a VP at Saban Consumer Products. jorgeF@saban.com
Sony Pictures Family Entertainment (Culver City, California, 310-244-4000): Tracey Tardiff has been named associate director of marketing from manager of market research at Columbia Pictures Worldwide marketing. Tardiff will be responsible for marketing strategies for all SPFE properties. Akiko Kumagai-Kuo also comes on-board as director of Internet strategy and marketing for Internet activities. She was formerly a manager with strategic planning at Sony Pictures Entertainment.
Southern Star (Sydney, Australia, 61-29202-8555): Cathy Payne takes over as chief executive of Southern Star Sales from departing Robyn Watts. Payne was most recently GM of Southern Star Primetime.
Walt Disney International (Paris, France, 33-16-474-4000): Michael O. Johnson has been promoted to president from his position as president and managing director of Walt Disney International Asia. Etienne de Villiers has stepped down as president of Walt Disney International Europe. Robin Paxton has been promoted to executive VP and managing director of Walt Disney Television International Asia-Pacific from senior VP and managing director of broadcasting and production of the same division. Nigel Haunch has also been upped to VP and managing director of broadcasting at WDTVI-AP from regional director of broadcasting.
Walt Disney Records (Burbank, California, 818-973-4361): Joe Etter has been promoted to VP of Walt Disney Records Canada from his previous position as director of the same division. Etter will be based out of the Toronto office. Damon Whiteside has also been upped to senior manager of marketing from his job as manager in the same department. firstname.lastname@example.org
Warner Bros. Consumer Products (Burbank, California, 818-954-7890): Dave Hedrick has been upped to the new position of VP of promotions and branded foods. Hedrick was previously director of retail business development. email@example.com
Bloomgarden steers the Copyright Promotions Licensing Group globally
Kirk Bloomgarden takes the reins as chief executive, steering the traditionally Western European-focussed entertainment, sports and brand licensing agency towards its new global aspirations. ‘We’ve gone from our core business, which has always been entertainment rights, to move into sports and brands, and are continuing with global expansion,’ Bloomgarden says.
Last year, the London-based independent licensing agency set up shop in Brazil and Korea, where CPLG’s World Cup 2002 licensing campaign will be based. The company also has offices in Hong Kong. ‘We’re looking to acquire other rights, not just sporting,’ Bloomgarden says of the recent South East Asian expansion. CPLG also handles rights for the European Championships 2000 that kick off next month.
CPLG handles the entertainment rights for the upcoming flick Charlie’s Angels, which Bloomgarden is excited about, predicting licensing success for the feature-length reincarnation of Bosley’s babes. CPLG also has the rights to Fox’s Titan. ‘We’re keeping our fingers crossed that the Lara Croft movie will be greenlit by Paramount,’ Bloomgarden adds, as CPLG is handling the European licensing for that as well.
The company’s brand division is also growing, with the acquisition of the Mars account for M&M last year, and the acquisition of the Star Wars brand. Bloomgarden says CPLG will try to leverage the American success of the M&M brand in Europe, where Star Wars is already hugely popular.
Bloomgarden was upped from his post as president of CPLG’s entertainment division. ISMM Group is parent company to Copyright Promotions Group Plc, which in turn is parent company to CPLG.
Disney focusing on reality TV in original programming
Gary Marsh, recently upped to executive VP of original programming, is turning Disney onto hip properties to entice kids to tune in.
The 11-year Disney veteran cites the upcoming TV series In a Heartbeat and reality TV series TeamSport and Totally Circus as examples of how Disney is changing with the times. ‘We have been trying to personalize Disney for a specific audience, making it more contemporary and reflective of what kids want. We’ve come a long way from Avonlea to In a Heartbeat,’ Marsh says, which he describes as E.R. meets Seventh Heaven. Toronto-based Alliance Atlantis produce the series that is based on a true story about high school kids who are also on-call volunteer medics. The live-action 21 x half-hour series goes into production this month and is slated to air later this year.
TeamSport, produced by Evolution Film & Tape of Bug Juice fame, went into production in March. Disney ordered 15 episodes of the half-hour reality series that follows the adventures of the Lady Hoopstars, a team of 13-year-old girl basketball players in Dayton, Ohio. Marsh says he hopes the October air date, right on the heels of the summer Olympics, will help generate some buzz. ‘We’re hoping to capitalize on interest in the U.S. women’s basketball team,’ he says. Totally Circus, produced by Double Exposure, is the other reality TV series in which a group of kids audition for the big top. ‘This is literally kids getting to run away to join the circus,’ Marsh says. The show follows the group through the summer as they learn their routines and travel the country. The series premieres in June.
Upcoming Disney original movies include Mom’s Got a Date with a Vampire, which ‘focuses on a vital kid issue-single parenthood. Mom can be happy being single and she doesn’t need a man in her life to be happy,’ Marsh says. The film is scheduled to air in October. The Other Me is slated to air in September and follows the story of Will, a 13-year-old who accidentally clones himself. At first, the clone proves to be helpful by doing Will’s homework, but soon, the ersatz twin becomes too popular, and Will wishes he had never been born.
Disney has also commissioned a pilot and 20 x half-hour episodes of Even Stevens, a new live-action comedy series produced by Brookwell McNamara Entertainment. ‘It’s a comedy about sibling rivalry,’ Marsh says. ‘Louis Stevens is the 13-year-old family cut-up who lives in a family of over achievers,’ Marsh explains. Ren is Louis’s far too driven older sister. No air date has been set yet.
Marsh says that Disney is also moving towards original animation for kids in the nine to 14 set, but all projects are still in early development. Marsh takes over as executive VP of original programming from his post as senior VP of the same division.
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