Fox Kids Europe (London, England, 44-207-554-9000): Having learned the ropes of the interactive TV gaming market as commercial director for The Digital Interactive Television Group, Mel Alcock has now joined FKE’s ranks as executive director of commercial sales. The pan-Euro kidnet is looking to expand its Fox Kids Play on-air games channel concept over the next couple of years, targeting Italy and Spain as its next target territories.
Funrise UK (Oxfordshire, England, 44-7836-607853): The toyco behind megabrands like Tonka, G.I. Joe and Silly Putty has launched a new U.K. office, which will be headed up by ex-Mattel sales exec Sara Bower. As U.K. sales and marketing director, Bower will initially focus on building relationships with British retailers.
Jakks Pacific (Malibu, California, 310-456-7799): As he continues to grow Jakk’s TV Games line and range of NASCAR radio-controlled vehicles, Carmine Russo has been upped from senior VP of research and development to senior VP of international sales. The skills in international manufacturing, sourcing and distribution Russo built as COO of Toymax (which Jakks bought in 2002) should come in handy as he takes on his new role.
Marathon Animation (Paris, France, 33-1-44-34-6600): Having helped develop and produce Totally Spies! and Martin Mystery, David Michel has been promoted from creative director to senior VP of animation. He will now oversee Marathon’s creative and marketing departments, in addition to guiding the company’s current toon projects.
MZB (Long Island, New York, 718-472-7500): The timepiece manufacturer’s new VP of licensing Craig Seaver will scout for the right properties to complement SKUs in its clocks and accessories & gifts lines. Before joining MZB, Seaver was senior director of licensing at drinkware and dinnerware manufacturer Zak Designs.
Nelvana (Toronto, Canada, 416-588-5571): Looking to maximize its home entertainment business, Nelvana has set up a new division devoted to the booming sector. Peter Maule will head the unit as VP of home entertainment and retail distribution, and he’s already locked in a couple of key catalogue deals. Dallas, Texas-based FUNimation Productions has picked up home entertainment rights to 44 Nelvana TV series, and Brit vid distributor Maverick will market 33 Nelvana titles in the U.K.
Nickelodeon (New York, New York, 212-258-8000): Leigh Anne Brodsky has been promoted from senior to executive VP of consumer products, and she’ll add merch programs for Spike TV and Comedy Central properties to her portfolio of Nick shows.
In her department, Brodsky has boosted Maureen Taxter from VP of retail and new business development to senior VP of new business development, as well as upping Steve Youngwood from VP to senior VP of media products.
Meanwhile, Keith Dawkins has been named GM of digital net NickToons with a mandate to pack a quarter of the channel’s sked with original programming by 2005. To get there, Dawkins is in the preliminary stages of conceptualizing a new in-house show that will join the lineup next year, along with three acquisitions that haven’t graced U.S. airwaves before. Dawkins hails from VH1, where he held a supervising producer position.
Ragdoll U.S. (New York, New York, 212-966-4477): Stacey Reiner has come aboard as director of licensing and new product development from Commonwealth Toys, where she was licensing manager. Reiner will start off on Boobah, Ragdoll’s latest TV series that’s set for launch on PBS in January. Licensees already on-board include Hasbro (master toy), Scholastic (publishing), Hallmark (social expressions) and Zak Designs (drinkware and dinnerware).
Sesame Workshop (New York, New York, 212-595-3456): An 18-year Workshop veteran, Renee Mascara moves up from associate VP to VP of international TV distribution. She will be charged with managing worldwide sales, as well as coming up with an internal broadcast data measurement tool that can be applied to the org’s program time slots and ratings. Helping Mascara will be Mai Nguyen, who has rejoined Sesame as assistant VP of international TV sales covering Asia, Latin America, Canada and the Caribbean. Nguyen left the Workshop last year to be a project manager at World Archipelago in London.
Sony Pictures Entertainment (Culver City, California, 310-244-4000): Gearing up for the theatrical debut of Spider-Man 2, Johnathan Adair has been installed as director of marketing. Adair, who most recently served as Universal’s executive director of marketing, will push the licensed merch programs for this key summer 2004 pic and animated series based on the Spidey and Stuart Little franchises.
WonderGroup (Cincinnati, Ohio, 513-357-2950): Matt Fischer has jumped ship from his executive VP and creative group director position at Foote Cone & Belding New York to join the youth marketing agency as chief creative officer. WonderGroup services kid industry clients such as ConAgra (Kid Cuisine), NickCandy and Perfetti Van Melle (Airheads).