C&R Research (Chicago, Illinois, 312-828-9200): Mary McIlrath has left her senior research manager position at Disney/ABC Cable Networks Group to join the kids research company as director of qualitative youth services. In her new role, McIlrath will be running various types of qualitative studies for C&R’s clients, including focus groups and ethnographies with kids and moms.
In addition, Hillary Christopher, Janice Wakeley and Lisa Hutto have all been upped from senior research analysts to research directors.
Entertainment Rights (London, England, 44-208-762-6260): Sarah Diggins has jumped over from her territory (Benelux, Scandinavia, and the Nordic markets) manager position at BBC Worldwide to build ER’s presence in those regions as a TV sales exec.
Gund (Edison, New Jersey, 732-248-1500): Lora Alcantara has joined the plush manufacturer as director of special and mass-market product development. She will be responsible for working with customers to design custom products, keeping the development cycle on track, identifying market and fabric trends, line planning and product tracking systems. Alcantara hails from Irwin Toy, where she was a product development exec.
LeapFrog Enterprises (Emeryville, California, 510-420-5000): As the company’s new COO, Fred Forsyth will oversee product development, engineering and global manufacturing and logistics. Forsyth hails from direct marketing service company NewRoads, where he served as CEO and president.
Konami of America (Redwood City, California, 650-654-5684): Hoping to bank on his established relationships with video game retailers like Electronics Boutique, Wal-Mart, Blockbuster and Gamestop, Konami has brought Bradley Smith in as director of sales. Prior to joining, Smith was Midway Games’ Eastern regional sales manager.
MTV Networks International (New York, New York, 212-258-8000): As the unit continues to load up MTV’s domestic execs with new global responsibilities, senior VP of talent and music Harriett Brand has seen her European remit expanded to include all global territories outside the U.S. Bill Flanagan, senior VP and editorial director of the MTVN Music Group, will take on the additional mantle of editorial director for MTVNI. And Cristian Jofre has been promoted from VP of marketing and creative director for MTV Latin America to senior VP and creative director of MTVNI.
Nickelodeon (New York, New York, 212-258-8000): The mighty kidnet has promoted two of its key TV production talents. Steve Keller jumps up from executive director to VP of live-action development and production, while Eric Coleman mirrors the move in the animation division.
And over at Viacom Consumer Products, Sandi Isaacs has been bumped from executive director to VP of licensing and will be charged with finding new business opportunities for Viacom’s properties in categories like video games, software, wireless and consumer electronics.
Novel Entertainment (London, England, 44-207-372-2772): Gearing up to produce a second run of preschool series Fimbles, the prodco has hired Murray Peterson as head of production. Murray is a veteran Brit producer who’s worked on domestic faves including My Hero and The Royle Family.
Sesame Workshop (New York, New York, 212-595-3456): The Workshop is staffing up its philanthropic development team, with Nina Adelson coming aboard to lead fundraising efforts in the U.S. as director of domestic philanthropic development. Adelson used to help older high-school students graduate and move on to college or careers as development director at non-profit organization Comprehensive Development.
Adelson’s global counterpart will be manager of international philanthropic development Shagorica Basu, who most recently served as program director for India’s National Center for the Performing Arts in Bombay.
And lastly, director of annual giving Carol Leister will work on strengthening the Workshop’s donation-led funding stream. As director of individual giving for WNYC Radio in New York, Leister achieved some major gains in Internet donations (from US$40,000 to US$1.5 million) and direct marketing efforts (US$6.6 million to US$8.2 million).
SGFootwear (Hackensack, New Jersey, 201-342-1200): With Bratz, Beyblade, Looney Tunes, Pokémon, Precious Moments, Sesame Street, The Wiggles and Transformers in its portfolio of licenses, the footwear player has hired Maggie Palmisano to manage properties and develop sales and marketing programs for key retail accounts as director of marketing and licensing. Palmisano is coming off a stint as Scholastic Entertainment’s director of retail and merchandising.
Toonz Animation India (Trivandrum, India, 91-47-141-6929): Aiming to build more co-production relationships in Europe, the Indian toon studio has hired John Cary as director of European marketing. In addition to scoping for TV series, direct-to-video and feature projects for Toonz to get involved in, Cary will also be exploring distribution opportunities for Toonz’s completed work.
United Media (New York, New York, 212-293-8500): Five-year UM veteran Daniela Devitt has been upped from manager to director of international licensing for Europe.
Warner Bros. Consumer Products (Burbank, California, 818-954-7890): Having been promoted from director of business development and sales to VP of category development and sales in the international licensing division, Bradford Braun is managing sales in the promotions, food & beverages and personal care categories and overseeing WBCP business operations in Korea.