Fox Kids Europe fills its CEO gap
Fox Kids Europe has named ex-MTV Europe exec Bruce Steinberg as its new CEO. Steinberg brings plenty of experience to the post, with a resumé that includes stints as senior VP of advertising sales and new business development at MTV Europe (1985-1992) and GM of BSkyB (1997-1999), where he supervised the satellite service’s entertainment channels and shareholdings in joint venture nets like Nickelodeon UK. In addition to overseeing key FKE businesses such as program distribution and consumer products, Steinberg’s remit will include building greater synergy and integration with FKE’s majority owner The Walt Disney Company, which holds a 76% stake in the company. Steinberg replaces outgoing CEO Ynon Kreiz, who helped launch FKE (which today reaches 32 million households across 56 countries) in 1996.
Jakks swallows prime Trendmasters assets
Malibu, California-based Jakks Pacific has purchased the majority of now-defunct toyco Trendmasters’ assets in a deal that’s estimated by industry sources to be valued at around US$24 million. Based in St. Louis, Missouri, Trendmasters effectively shut down operations after 13 years and let go of roughly 200 staffers last month before closing the deal with Jakks, which picked up product line assets including Rumble Robots and Starcastles. Jakks will decide what to keep in the next month or so, says company spokesperson Genna Goldberg, and it may also choose to renegotiate some of Trendmasters’ toy licenses for entertainment properties such as The Powerpuff Girls and Dexter’s Laboratory.