People in New Jobs

BAM! Entertainment (San Jose, California, 408-298-7500): With three years' experience as Infogrames VP of sales under his belt, Michael Markey has joined video game studio BAM! as senior VP of North American distribution.
January 3, 2002

BAM! Entertainment (San Jose, California, 408-298-7500): With three years’ experience as Infogrames VP of sales under his belt, Michael Markey has joined video game studio BAM! as senior VP of North American distribution.

Big Idea Productions (Chicago, Illinois, 312-669-1427): The studio behind the lucrative VeggieTales religious video franchise has named Terry Botwick as president and COO. Hailing from CBS, where he served as senior VP of entertainment, Botwick will be charged with devising new strategies to expand Big Idea’s roster of business activities.

Buena Vista Game Entertainment Studio (Burbank, California, 818-553-5000): Moving over from the Feature Animation division of Disney, where he served as VP of technology and digital production, Paul Yanover has joined the new unit as senior VP and GM.

Cartoon Network UK (London, England, 44-207-478-1000): Dan Balaam has been upped from creative manager to creative director of Cartoon Network UK and Boomerang. Balaam, who started at the company as a personal assistant when it launched in 1993 and who has since garnered five PROMAX Awards, will take charge of on-air promotions and packaging for the channels.

The Copyrights Group Limited (London, England, 44-207-924-3292): Philippa Milnes-Smith has joined as head of U.K. business development and will scout out domestic market opportunities for a property portfolio that includes perennial preschool faves like Paddington Bear and Maisy. Milnes-Smith hails from Penguin imprint Puffin Books, where she served as managing director.

Entertainment Rights (London, England, 44-207-432-0324): ER has tapped former Nelvana sales executive Gillian Kirby to lead its expansion into the U.S. market. Kirby joins ER as head of sales for the U.S., Canada and Latin America and will be looking to build relationships with key kidcasters, producers and licensees in those regions.

EM.TV & Merchandising (Munich, Germany, 49-89-957-150): Hoping to rebound after a difficult year, EM.TV has started to rebuild its production division by appointing Anke Steinbacher as its new head of creative affairs for children’s and family programming. With the company’s new plans to create four to six kids productions per year, Steinbacher will be responsible for the development and production of new animated series.

Fox Kids Network (Los Angeles, California, 310-235-9600): Patrick Connolly, the former executive director of programming and development for Fox Family Worldwide, has been named Fox Kids’ VP in charge of programming, scheduling, on-air promotions and publicity.

Gullane Entertainment (Toronto, Canada, 416-533-6767): David Jacobs has been promoted from VP and group head of U.S. licensing to senior VP of the Consumer Products division in North and South America. As such, he will oversee all of Gullane’s licensing, publishing, consumer marketing and live events activities in the two territories.

Hasbro (Pawtucket, Rhode Island, 401-431-8697): Cathy Larson has been upped from VP of character brands marketing and R&D to GM of First Fun, which comprises the preschool, girls’ toys and creative play divisions. In her new position, Larson will focus on building the toyco’s girls business and overseeing marketing and development for preschool brands such as Playskool and Bob the Builder. Kid biz newcomer and marketing veteran Greg Leeds, formerly VP/GM of traditional channels for Samsonite, will serve as GM of boys toys, overseeing the marketing and building of boy brands such as GI Joe and Transformers.

Amy Moynihan also joins the company as director of promotions. The former director of corporate marketing at magazine publishing company Upside Media will be responsible for consumer promotions for Hasbro’s core game and toy brands such as Mr. Potato Head and Tonka.

Mattel (El Segundo, California, 310-252-2000): Michael Connell steps into a new position as director of brand image and product design for Mattel’s Barbie Consumer Products division. He will helm advertising, communications and creative development, as well as overseeing the product design for health and beauty aids, apparel, accessories and home categories. Connell hails from entertainment media design firm Pittard Sullivan, where he served as VP and creative director.

RTV Family Entertainment (Ravensburg, Germany, 49-75-861-692): Stepping into the newly created position of head of global distribution is Oliver Kreuter, who will manage RTV’s kid-heavy catalog. Kreuter hails from BetaFilm, where he most recently served as project manager for format sales.

Sesame Workshop (New York, New York, 212-595-3456): Having sold her Internet start-up company Socialnet, Liz Kalodner has come back to the kid brand business as senior VP and GM of global consumer products and international TV distribution at Sesame Workshop. Kalodner, who spent 10 years at Disney in product licensing for film and TV properties, will take charge of licensing activities for both the domestic and international markets in her new role at the Workshop, initiating new product categories and sussing out opportunities for products in development.

Teletoon (Toronto, Canada, 416-956-2060): Carole Bonneau has been upped from director to VP of programming, and will continue to oversee scheduling and acquisitions, as well as development and production of original toons.

Toonz Animation India (Trivandrum, India, 91-47-141-6929): Roger Dondis joins as creative director from Wild Brain Studios, where he served as animation director and overseas supervisor for feature film productions. Nelson Uduando has also joined the toonco as head of animation. Most recently, Uduando owned and operated an animation studio called New Dawn Studios in the Philippines.

Warner Bros. (Burbank, California, 818-954-6000): Looking to synthesize marketing strategies across divisions, Warner Bros. has appointed former president of domestic marketing Brad Ball to executive VP of domestic corporate marketing. Ball will integrate the studio’s overall marketing initiatives, including AOL-Time Warner divisions.

Warner Bros. Consumer Products (Burbank, California, 818-954-7890): Philippe Erwin has joined as VP of interactive entertainment and will be charged with scoping out new licensing deals for WB content on interactive platforms. Erwin, who held positions at Universal Interactive Entertainment and Activision prior to coming aboard at WBCP, will initially focus on current and next-gen video game consoles.

In other division news, Paula Allen has been promoted from director of publishing sales to VP of worldwide publishing, with responsibility for global book, magazine and children’s music activities falling into her lap. And lastly, Maribeth Towers-Toth has come aboard as VP of apparel and accessories, and will be charged with supervising and devising long-term strategies for those licensing categories.

The Wildflower Group (Toronto, Canada, 416-925-5902): Twelve-year licensing veteran Elisa A. Gangl has joined as a consultant in charge of sales. The former VP of sales and marketing for will represent the company’s numerous properties, including babyGUND and book brand Sweet Potato Queens.

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