9 Story Entertainment (Toronto, Canada, 416-530-9900): Having operated as a consultant since leaving her VP of acquisitions position at Universal Pictures Visual Programming in 2005, Natalie Osborne is now enjoying the benefits of a full-time roost at 9 Story, where she’s working towards beefing up the company’s international distribution activity and IP portfolio as EVP of business development. Best-known for co-producing Emmy-winning preschool show Peep and the Big Wide World with WGBH, the four-year-old shop is targeting older kids with its current slate, which includes Best Ed, a buddy comedy for the eight to 12 set that has already attracted Cartoon Network as a broadcast partner.
Cookie Jar Entertainment (Los Angeles, California, 323-937-6244): As The Doodlebops’ popularity continues to soar, the Jar has brought in a licensing big gun to keep up the pace on the deal-making side. Enter Sue Richter, the company’s new VP of U.S. licensing. The former director of licensing for Hasbro Properties Group has looked at Cookie Jar’s property portfolio and zeroed in on Doodlebops and Spider Riders as her top priorities going into Toy Fair. For the first phase of the Spider Riders program, Richter is still looking for apparel and accessories partners. And for Doodlebops, which is heading into phase two, she’ll be on the lookout for specialists in accessories, arts & crafts and eyewear.
Corus Television (Toronto, Canada, 416-534-1191): As part of a move to spread its marketing execs over more channel real estate, Corus has upped Laura Baehr from director of marketing for YTV to VP of marketing for Kids TV (encompassing YTV, Treehouse and Discovery Kids Canada).
FremantleMedia Enterprises (Paris, France, 33-1-4662-3800): Nathalie Delin will get to flex the kids consumer products skills she honed as licensing director of Jetix France in her new post as Fremantle’s licensing director for France.
HIT Entertainment (Hong Kong, 852-2730-4118): The preschool property powerhouse has started staffing up its new Asia-Pacific headquarters, tapping Antonio Huab to run its consumer products and TV distribution business in the region as VP. Huab previously repped Warner Bros. and Cartoon Network properties in Hong Kong, Macau and Greater China as deputy GM of licensing agency Hutchison Harbour Ring.
marblemedia (Toronto, Canada, 416-646-2711): Diane Williamson will guide digital media development at the prodco as VP of interactive. Williamson has been producing interactive content for 10 years, most recently consulting with Corus Entertainment on how to integrate content from indie producers into its entertainment portals.
Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products (New York, New York, 212-846-8000): Hal Snik and Sherrice Torres have both been bumped up a rung on the company’s corporate ladder, moving up from VPs to SVPs in their categories – soft goods (apparel, accessories and home furnishings) for Snik, and hard goods (toys & games, packaged goods, stationery, social expressions and consumer electronics) for Torres.
Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group (New York, New York, 212-846-8000): EVP of 360 Brand Sales Jim Perry is shuffling his executive ranks a bit to maximize sales efforts. Jim Tricario moves up from VP to SVP of advertising sales for Nickelodeon Television, while Nelson Boyce graduates from national sales director to VP of sales for The N.
Nickelodeon Television (New York, New York, 212-846-8000): And the mergers just keep on coming at Nick, with Noggin and Nick Jr. uniting under the Nickelodeon Preschool umbrella, which will be managed by Brown Johnson as EVP and executive creative director of Nickelodeon Preschool and GM of Noggin. Rounding out the team are Teri Weiss as SVP of development and production (up from VP of the same) and Angela Leaney as SVP and creative director (up from SVP of brand communications).
NPD EuroToys (Paris, France, 33-1-5578-2525): The toy sales tracking firm is under new leadership now that Anna Scott has stepped down as president into a director of sales and marketing position that will let her spend more time with her family. Filling Scott’s shoes is Jane Zimmy, a company veteran who pioneered NPD’s toy business in 1978.
PorchLight Entertainment (Los Angeles, California, 310-477-8400): Donna Hardwick has come aboard as VP of marketing and promotions and will work on securing promo partnerships for all of PorchLight’s properties, as well as underwriting deals for its PBS-bound shows (including Animalia, which launches on the pubcaster this year). Hardwick is highly familiar with the intricacies of the public broadcasting system, having just come off a five-year stint in communications at American Public Television.
Sony Computer Entertainment America (Foster City, California, 650-655-8000): With 20 years of vidgame experience under his belt, Jack Tretton has taken over the reins as president and CEO of the console giant. Tretton was part of the company’s original executive team and helped launch PlayStation in 1995, but more recently he served as EVP and co-COO.
Studio B (Vancouver, Canada, 604-684-2363): Jilliane Reinseth is taking a break from the studio system to foster in-house idea incubation and work up external pitches as Studio B’s new director of development. Prior to joining the Canuck toonco, Reinseth helped fine-tune animated content at many of Disney’s media holdings, most recently serving as development producer for Jetix Europe.
TV-Loonland UK (London, England, 44-207-434-2377): With a publishing pedigree, airtime in 85 countries and a second-season order from Milkshake, Little Princess seems to be a property with traction these days. And to capitalize on that momentum, TV-L has brought Kirsty Guthrie in to implement a merchandise program drawn up by strategy consultant Start Licensing. Right out of the gate this spring, the UK sales and licensing consultant will manage the rollout of a line of TV tie-in books from Andersen Press and a first-season DVD.