German animation studio TV-Loonland finally seems to have found its footing after a year of management upheaval. Olivier Dumont has been brought aboard to get the company’s development and distribution businesses back on track as COO. Dumont has worked in sales (as head of business and legal affairs for Europe Images International), programming (as head of acquisitions at Canal J) and production (most recently as managing director of SIP Animation) over the course of his career, so he brings a well-rounded TV business perspective to the table.
Finding new creative talent is an immediate priority, and Dumont plans to set up a Paris office shortly from which he’ll recruit from France’s animation talent pool. But he’s also aiming to use TV-L’s existing digs in London and Munich as scouting home bases. As far as asset management goes, Dumont has identified an older-skewing preschool property in TV-L’s library that he hopes to build a new season around, and he’s looking to give the same treatment to a few other catalogue shows. And lastly, Dumont would like to raise the bar on the creative development front, so he’ll be working with higher budgets as he sends two new projects into the pipeline. One is a light-hearted animated series for the five to eight set, and the other targets seven- to 12-year-olds with angst-driven stories centered around mythology.
Cherrypicking from behind the scenes with the help of corporate recruitment firm Lipson & Co., Dumont has brought in two key executives to help him accomplish these plans. Kayenta Productions’ former head of international co-production, Kourtney Kaye, will head up programming output as head of creative affairs and development. And Justine Bannister is charged with selling this new content and TV-L’s catalogue to TV and video/DVD buyers as head of international distribution and acquisitions.
Bannister, who held the same position at Dargaud Distribution, will also manage the company’s licensing activities in the short term. But Dumont says he would like to significantly grow this part of the TV-L business to properly support and capitalize on the company’s increased programming output, and he will be hunting for a proper consumer products team in the near future.