Cartoon Network Europe (London, England, 44-207-693-1000): Suzanne Berman has left her senior creative position with TV-Loonland to join the CNE team as a supervising producer in its original animation and acquisitions department. Berman will work out of the new Time Warner building in New York, but will report to London-based director of animation for Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Toonami Daniel Lennard. As part of her new remit, Berman will take pitches, develop projects for potential co-production and supervise the development of new series.
Disney Publishing Worldwide (New York, New York, 212-633-4400): After putting in almost 10 years with tech consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, Sumita Bhattacharya has been named director of business development and strategy at the mouse house’s global publishing unit. In her new role, Bhattacharya will identify, assess and pounce on new business and acquisition opportunities within the realm of the written word. Fluent in Hindi and Bengali, Bhattacharya could potentially use her knowledge of India to help DPW expand its activities in that region.
Nelvana (Toronto, Canada, 416-588-5571): Nelvana has pinched Sesame Workshop’s former executive VP of international to join its L.A.-based team as senior VP of sales and distribution. Martha Van Gelder will leverage her background in children’s programming and her knowledge of the Asian markets to develop new distribution relationships and scope out character licensing and consumer products opportunities for Nelvana’s slate of properties.
Novel Entertainment (London, England, 44-208-341-7170): Since leaving the Telemagination fold in February, Marion Edwards opened up a new production and animation consulting outfit called Red & Blue Productions, and Novel Entertainment has signed on as one of her first clients. Working on a non-exclusive basis, Edwards will initially co-manage the development of Pocoyo and Horrid Henry with Novel’s Lucy Murphy, as well as developing animation for a number of upcoming projects.
Sesame Workshop (New York, New York, 212-595-3456): Jeffrey Fleishman has been tapped to take the Workshop’s IP portfolio into emerging platforms such as cellular media and interactive TV as director of business operations for interactive media. Fleishman hails from Outercurve Technologies, where he served as VP of business development.
Tiger Aspect (London, England, 44-207-434-6700): The latest ex-Carlton player to join the U.K. indie ranks, Steve Hewlett comes aboard Tiger Aspect as a non-executive director following a stint overseeing operations and business strategy as managing director of Carlton Productions. In his new role, Hewlett will have a hand in all of Tiger Aspect’s projects currently in production, including Mr. Bean – The Animated Series.
TV-Loonland (London, England, 44-207-434-2237): Also displaced by the Carlton/Granada merger, Dominic Rayner has found a home at TV-L as director of sales. Carlton International’s former territory manager for Asia, Canada and Australia will work out of London to ramp up international sales of TV-L’s catalogue and to secure presales and co-pro partners for new projects including Werekids.
United Media (New York, New York, 212-293-8500): After nearly a decade with Disney Consumer Products, Tim Whale has joined the agency that reps Peanuts, Raggedy Ann & Andy and Paddington Bear as VP of international licensing for Japan, Europe and Latin America. Whale will initially manage United Media’s Japanese operations, with a mid-term focus on building business in the two other territories.
Wildflower Group (New York, New York, 212-924-2322): Poised for overseas expansion, the licensing and marketing agency has appointed Jonathan Close as director of international services. Charged with overseeing the company’s global growth efforts through sub-agents, Close will start off with Newton’s Law and Alf. Close comes to Wildflower from his own company Mid Atlantic Licensing, through which he has provided consultancy services since 1992.
YG USA (Los Angeles, California, 310-828-9599): The new co-venture between Australian animation company Yoram Gross and L.A. production house Coote/Hayes Production, YG USA has appointed Edward Olson as its first president. Based in L.A., Olson will continue to serve as Coote/Hayes’s VP of development, managing new projects and properties and distributing the Yoram Gross catalogue in North and Latin America. The recent marriage of these companies has already spawned a pair of animated tween series – Fuzzy Heroes and Invincible, and a live-action/animated hybrid called Untitled Comic Hero that’s being produced with Thunderbird Film and Leaping Lizards Productions.