Bandai Entertainment (Cypress, California, 714-816-9760): Jerry Chu has been upped from marketing producer to marketing manager, and the four-year Bandai veteran is right in the middle of driving box-office traffic for the limited theatrical release of anime feature Escaflowne, which hit the big screen in January.
Broadway Video Enterprises (New York, New York, 212-265-7600): To support its bid to become a full-service entertainment company, Broadway has made several key appointments. Ex-NBC Enterprises VP Andy Darrow has been named VP and will devise strategies for fully exploiting Broadway content domestically. Britta von Schoeler has left her home video marketing manager position at BBC Worldwide Americas to head up Broadway’s international program sales as director. And coordinating creative affairs (including content development, original productions and acquisitions) will be Kathy Martin, who developed and produced hit shows Truth or Scare and Outward Bound while serving as manager of development at Discovery Kids Network.
In its growth efforts, Broadway has already signed various licensing, TV and home video rights deals with Cuppa Coffee Animation, Wreckless Abandon Studios and Entertainment Rights.
Creative Artists Agency (Los Angeles, California, 310-288-4545): The Fox exodus continues this month as Elie Dekel, former president of Fox Family Worldwide and Saban Consumer Products, leaves to join CAA’s TV division. Agent Dekel will focus on hooking up TV networks, advertising holding companies and talent for marketing initiatives.
DC Comics (La Jolla, California, 619-551-1164): With the recent exit of longtime president and editor-in-chief Jenette Kahn, Paul Levitz is taking over the head honcho reins as the comic company’s new president and publisher. Levitz, who has been with DC for 29 years, will oversee the business and editorial operations of all DC publications and MAD magazine.
David McKillips has also been upped from national ad sales director to VP of advertising for DC Comics and MAD magazine.
Discovery Consumer Products (Bethesda, Maryland, 301-986-0444): As part of a new merch strategy designed to strengthen the connection between Discovery programming and product, Cindy Lee has been put in charge of picking up products for the Discovery Kids and Animal Planet sections of Discovery Channel Stores as senior buyer. Lee hails from eToys, where she most recently served as director of toy merchandising.
Disney Publishing Worldwide (New York, New York, 212-633-4400): Deborah Dugan jumps up from executive VP and managing director to president of the book division, which is the second-largest segment of Disney Consumer Products with 2001 revenues of US$1.5 billion. Since joining DPW in 1998, Dugan has shifted the publishing group’s focus from a licensing model to a content-driven one, as well as developing tween properties like international W.I.T.C.H. magazine and Volo, a new U.S. paperback fiction series.
Harcourt Children’s Books (San Diego, California, 619-231-6616): Outgoing VP and publisher Louise Pelan has promoted Robin Cruise from managing editor to executive managing editor, as well as bringing freelance editor Karen Grove back to the in-house team as senior editor.
Jakks Pacific (Malibu, California, 310-456-7799): Flying Colors Toys founder Michael Bianco has been upped from executive VP of planning and product development to chief merchandising officer. Bianco will now be responsible for branding and marketing initiatives, as well as driving new product development.
Sesame Workshop (New York, New York, 212-595-3456): Leaving her VP of marketing post at Mommy and Me Enterprises, where she helped launch a consumer products line that includes a variety of books, videos, toys and apparel, Tamra Seldin has joined the Workshop as VP of marketing for the Global Consumer Products and International TV Distribution divisions. In addition to seeking out new partners and business opportunities, Seldin will be responsible for melding Sesame’s domestic and international television and licensing activities to maximize brand-building potential.
In Sesame Street news, Dr. Lewis Bernstein has become the venerable preschool show’s new executive producer. Bernstein, who has worked on the series for 25 years, most recently facilitated the launch of Sesame Street versions in France, Spain, Holland, Germany, Kuwait and Israel as VP of global Sesame Street Productions.
Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing (New York, New York, 212-698-2809): Kristi DeLano has been upped from associate director to director of marketing and has seen her imprint responsibilities grow to include Aladdin Paperbacks and Simon Pulse, as well as Simon Spotlight and Little Simon.
Lynn Smith moves up from associate marketing manager to brand manager for the Nickelodeon and Simon Spotlight imprints.
The Walt Disney Company (Burbank, California, 818-560-1000): Veteran marketing exec Cherise McVicar moves up from VP of promotions to senior VP of national promotions for the studio’s Buena Vista Marketing Group. McVicar will kick off her new role by masterminding the promo campaign for Disney’s June-launching Lilo & Stitch animated feature film.
Meanwhile, Richard Cook has shifted his chairman duties from the Walt Disney Motion Picture Group to Walt Disney Studios, where he will manage worldwide distribution and marketing for features and home videos.
On the tube side of the business, David Stainton has been promoted from executive VP to president of Walt Disney Television Animation. In his new role, Stainton will oversee production of the division’s toon series, as well as specials and video premieres.
Warner Bros. (Burbank, California, 818-954-6000): Diane Nelson has joined Warner Bros. Pictures as senior VP of domestic marketing. Nelson was previously the studio’s main liaison with Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and coordinated marketing for the property across all the various WB business units as VP of family entertainment at Warner Bros. Corporate Worldwide Marketing and Planning.
Warner Bros. Consumer Products (Burbank, California, 818-954-7890): Bruce Marshall has been upped from VP to senior VP of international retail business development. In his new role, Marshall will concentrate on devising a strategy for increasing sales of WB licensed merch overseas, rolling in retail promotional programs and product development activities.