People in new jobs

Animal Planet International (London, England, 44-207-462-3600): Peter Weil has been given a new broadcast brand to lead with his promotion from VP of content for Discovery UK to senior VP and GM of Animal Planet International. Weil will guide the channel's editorial and creative direction, working with a team that's based in London, Miami and Singapore.
March 1, 2003

Animal Planet International (London, England, 44-207-462-3600): Peter Weil has been given a new broadcast brand to lead with his promotion from VP of content for Discovery UK to senior VP and GM of Animal Planet International. Weil will guide the channel’s editorial and creative direction, working with a team that’s based in London, Miami and Singapore.

CBS (Los Angeles, California, 323-460-3000): Barbara Bloom has joined as senior VP of daytime and children’s programming, and she’ll oversee the channel’s Nick Jr. Saturday morning block. Bloom comes to the position after a two-year stint as co-head writer on ABC soap Port Charles.

Contender Entertainment (London, England, 44-207-907-3773): Taking on a wider sales scope, Helen Blayney has left her senior director of European sales position at TV-Loonland to join indie studio Contender as head of international sales. Blayney will cut her teeth on finding additional broadcast homes for Tractor Tom, a CGI preschool series that started airing on CiTV in February.

Disney Consumer Products (Burbank, California, 818-560-1000): Jessica Dunne has jumped ship from Cartoon Network, where she served as senior VP of network marketing and off-channel commerce, to come aboard DCP as senior VP of toys. As such, Dunne will lead an 80-person global team as it strives to create high-quality and innovative product, as well as managing key licensee and retailer relationships.

Entertainment Rights (London, England, 44-208-762-6200): ER has a new man in Asia with the arrival of sales executive Matthew Ashcroft, who will be responsible for building up business in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, India, Australia and New Zealand. As a sales exec with Fireworks International, Ashcroft most recently sold the company’s portfolio to pay- and free-TV outlets in Asia and Latin America.

Kids’ WB! (Burbank, California, 818-977-5000): In the wake of Donna Friedman Meir’s move to take on the newly created president of kids programming and production position for National Geographic Television and Film, her trusty wingman John Hardman has been upped from VP of programming and development to senior VP. Hardman, who has been with the network for four years and played an instrumental role in developing ratings-winner Yu-Gi-Oh!, will now oversee all development, scheduling and programming.

Lucasfilm Inc. (San Raphael, California, 415-662-1800): To synergize his various business enterprises into a more cohesive infrastructure, George Lucas has brought Lucasfilm Ltd., Lucas Licensing, LucasArts Entertainment and Lucas Digital under one umbrella, promoting Lucasfilm CFO Micheline Chau to COO in charge of overseeing the whole shebang.

Mainframe Entertainment (Vancouver, Canada, 604-714-2600): Former Harvey Entertainment Company president and COO Rick Mischel has taken over the CEO reins at Canuck CGI hotshop Mainframe. Based out of the company’s Vancouver headquarters, Mischel will work with the existing team to diversify Mainframe’s activities into proprietary properties, feature films and video games.

The Middleton Doll Company (Columbus, Ohio, 262-523-4300): Iain Macfarlane has joined as senior VP of Middleton and CEO of the company’s Lee Middleton Original Dolls subsidiary. The collectible doll market maven hails from Mattel’s Pleasant Company division (home of the American Doll brand), where he served as senior VP.

Racing Champions (Chicago, Illinois, 630-790-3507): Greg Miller has been upped from managing director to VP of marketing. Prior to joining RC in 2001, Miller had done stints as business team leader at Little Tikes and VP of marketing for Hasbro’s Playskool division.

And new to the Racing Champions team is director of new products and technology Jeff Jones, who helped develop Furby while serving as senior VP of research and development at Tiger Electronics.

Sesame Workshop (New York, New York, 212-595-3456): Making the leap from one preschool specialist to another, Gisela Barcus has left her senior account manager of international licensing position at the Jim Henson Company to join Sesame as international licensing manager for Asia and Australia. Barcus will start off liaising with Australasian licensees for Sesame Street, Dragon Tales and Sagwa the Chinese Siamese Cat.

Anita Stewart has also come aboard as VP of corporate sponsorship. Stewart, who previously served as national marketing and sales director for PBS’s Sponsorship Group, will scout for new sponsorships for Workshop series such as Sesame Street, Dragon Tales and Sagwa.

Tremendous! Entertainment (Minnetonka, Minnesota, 952-258-0220): Building up its sales team to capitalize on the Garfield’s 25th Anniversary Special it currently has in production, Tremendous! has promoted Jane Durkee from special projects producer to program sales executive. Durkee will attend MIPTV to drum up domestic and international distribution deals for the Tremendous! portfolio.

Warner Bros. Consumer Products (Burbank, California, 818-954-7890): Shari Black has switched studios to oversee all of WBCP’s mass-market retail accounts as senior VP of retail business development. The former Disney Consumer Products director of retail sales and marketing will work closely with the likes of Wal-Mart, Kmart and Target in planning promos and analyzing in-store activity levels and point-of-sale data to come up with more targeted and effective retail strategies.

Warner Home Video (Burbank, California, 818-954-6429): After four years abroad, most recently serving the company as senior VP and co-managing director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Ron Sanders is coming home to roost. The 12-year WHV veteran has taken on the mantle of executive VP and GM for the U.S. and will oversee domestic sales, marketing and operations.

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