One of Canada’s biggest entertainment companies is radically restructuring in order to streamline its production and broadcast arms.
Toronto, Canada-based Corus Entertainment announced its re-organization plans last month. The new outfit will integrate animation house Nelvana Studios, which the company purchased in 2000, into its television division. Newly created Nelvana Enterprises will focus on leveraging Corus’ intellectual property internationally, including The Fairly Odd Parents, Ruby Gloom, Franklin and Babar.
In conjunction with the move, Corus also announced the amalgamation of its Movie Central, W Network, CMT and Scream broadcast channels as well as the consolidation of Movie Central’s operations into Corus’ Toronto head office.
Furthermore, Nelvana’s L.A. and U.K. offices are being shut down and all North American operations will be run from the Toronto office, with the existing Paris office overseeing all Euro activity. The closures will result in reduction of 15 staff members.
‘We thought if we could create those two important content hubs that it would help us in the future, as it goes to repurposing content against multiple platforms,’ Paul Robertson, president of Corus Television, explains.
Scott Dyer, now executive VP and GM of kids for Corus, says the corporate reorganization will have no effect on Nelvana production plans made prior to the move.
‘Our intent is to produce at roughly the same level, which means about 100 to 150 episodes a year, and to continue to produce for the key Canadian broadcasters,’ says Dyer. ‘For the production community this doesn’t change the number of independent producers we work with.’
On the broadcast side, Corus owns Canada’s top kidnet YTV, preschool-focused Treehouse and 50% of 24/7 kidsnet Teletoon. Dyer is confident the company will be able to serve both the broadcast arm and production arm more efficiently under the new regime. ‘It gives us a broader single focus,’ Dyer says, adding the change will make the interaction between the broadcast and production sides seamless.
Former Nelvana executive VP of business development Doug Murphy has been named president of the newly dubbed Nelvana Enterprises, and is focused on sussing out international TV and licensing market prospects for Corus properties.
‘Specifically we will be the international partner for the Corus team and look to distribute the content for our broadcast partners, and work to do home video, master toy and consumer product franchise deals where applicable,’ says Murphy. Additionally, NE is scouting out third-party content to distribute internationally. GR