Alliance Atlantis (Toronto, Canada, 416-967-1174): In the wake of Ken Faier’s departure to head up Nerd Corps as president, Alan Gregg has been promoted from director to VP of production and distribution for the children’s television department.
Cartoon Network Enterprises (New York, New York, 212-852-6900): As part of the plan for managing its own merch business, CNE has recruited Christina Miller to spearhead State-side licensing efforts as VP of U.S. consumer products. Miller hails from HIT, where she most recently served as senior VP of brand licensing.
Disney Channel (Burbank, California, 818-569-7500): With an immediate mandate to set up original programming teams in London and Japan, Gary Marsh is stepping into a global position as president of entertainment for Disney Channel Worldwide. Marsh has been lord and master of in-house content destined for the Mouse’s U.S. broadcast platforms for the past four years as executive VP of original programming and production. Now he’ll also be responsible for guiding the development and production of shows for a wider universe of international channel holdings, including 24 Disney Channels, six Playhouse Disney nets, seven Toon Disneys, 15 Jetix outlets and ABC Kids on the ABC Television Network.
EM.Entertainment (Munich, Germany, 49-89-957-150): Feathering her new nest at the German prodco, Susanne Schosser has poached TV-Loonland’s former head of co-productions Dominique Neudecker to join the EM team as head of production.
Entara (London, England, 44-207-580-3099): The IP owner behind Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks is gearing up to launch a major consumer products program around the 40-ep CGI preschool series, which has now sold into 54 countries and airs as a weekday strip on PBS Kids in the U.S. Leading the charge will be senior VP of licensing and marketing David Marsden, who joins the company from Hasbro, where he served as U.K. marketing director.
Marsden is currently overseeing the first-phase launch of a U.K. Jakers! program, with toys from Martin Yaffe and books from Simon & Schuster at market already, and DVD product from Paramount Home Video rounding the range out later this month. He’s also working with U.S. licensing agent United Media and marketing agent Big Tent Entertainment to roll the same three categories out State-side in August ’06, except Commonwealth Toy will step in to do a range of playthings on this side of the pond. Entara and its agents are also turning their attentions to finding partners for the second phase of the program, which will start rolling out next fall, covering categories such as apparel, bedding and expanded publishing (sound and activity books, in particular).
To help find these new manufacturing partners, former BKN VP of licensing and merchandising Karen McNally has come aboard as VP of licensing. And Kate Hawthorne, who has left her associate brand manager position at HIT, will work with Marsden on building consumer awareness for Jakers! as marketing manager.
HIT Entertainment (New York, New York, 212-463-9623): Having had some time to assess the business that Apax Partners acquired in May, HIT’s non-executive chairman Greg Dyke and CEO Bruce Steinberg set about making a series of staffing changes in the lead-up to MIPCOM.
In State-side news, Patricia Wyatt has been brought in to expand HIT’s consumer products and home entertainment businesses as president of HIT North America. Wyatt most recently served as president of Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products and oversaw global licensing and domestic home entertainment for Fox properties including The Simpsons.
She’ll be working with a familiar counterpart across the pond, as Peter Byrne steps into his new post as executive VP of international licensing, merchandising and home entertainment. Prior to joining HIT’s London-based team, Byrne spent four years as executive VP of global licensing and merchandising at Fox, spearheading the studio’s largest theatrical merch program for Robots and guiding the relaunch of The Simpsons consumer products campaign.
MTV Networks International (London, England, 44-207-284-7777): Jules Borkent has gotten a bump up from senior director to VP of programming for Nickelodeon International. Borkent is charged with master-minding a coordinated programming and acquisitions gameplan, and he’ll be working closely with Nick’s 13 Euro channel heads on pan-regional buys.
Borkent will also play a bigger role in Nick’s ongoing plan to pepper the global airwaves with new channels. On the heels of helping to get Nick Germany up and running in September, he’s now in the thick of launching Nick France, which goes live on November 16.