Cartoon Network Spain (Madrid, Spain, 34-91-436-7950): Taking on a broader portfolio of accountability, Vincent Sourdeau has been upped from director of programming, acquisitions and content to channel manager. In his new role, Sourdeau will oversee programming, marketing, PR, creative services, research and operations related to the running of Turner’s kids channels and animation business in Spain. The position puts him in charge of Boomerang and Adult Swim, as well as Cartoon Network.
CCI Entertainment (Los Angeles, California, 416-964-8750): Licensing veteran Jennifer Bennett just can’t seem to get enough of Canada, eh?! The former AAC Kids VP of L&M has landed at CCI as EVP of licensing, stationed at the company’s soon-to-open L.A. office. She’s overseeing brand management and licensing activities centering around properties including Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs, Erky Perky and recent acquisition Frankenstein’s Cat.
Copyright Promotions Licensing Group (London, England, 44-208-563-6400): Planning ahead for Kirk Bloomgarden’s impending defection to DIC Entertainment in January, the licensing agency is upping MD Katarina Dietrich to CEO at the start of the new year. CPLG has also brought in Alex Bloor as retail manager. Bloor has more than seven years experience in the toys and games industry, most recently working as a marketing manager at Hasbro, where she was responsible for developing new products and innovating established brands.
Decode Enterprises (Toronto, Canada, 416-363-8034): After six years working hard to develop and serve accounts in fast-growing territories such as Asia, Latin America and Scandinavia, Josh Scherba has deservedly been promoted from sales executive to director of sales. And Lara Ilie joins as a sales executive heading up efforts in Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Ilie hails from Romanian broadcast conglomerate CME Pro TV, where she was an acquisitions manager for Acasa TV.
Flying Bark Productions (Sydney, Australia, 61-2-9519-1366): With a pipeline full of kids projects, the EM.Entertainment-owned studio has made Michael Hefferon’s MD position a permanent one. Hefferon joined the company in February on a six-month contract, and he’s been instrumental in restructuring EM’s production group. He’ll continue to fine-tune that infrastructure, on top of overseeing production of programming for both Aussie and international audiences.
Guru Animation Studio (Toronto, Canada, 416-599-4878): The seven-year-old toon shop has tapped former Disney exec Mary Bredin to spearhead the development and acquisition of new IP for films, TV and the internet. In addition to her eight-year run at Disney International as director of acquisitions and programming, Bredin has done stints at companies including Canal+, Telefilm Canada and PMMP in Spain.
KOCCA – Korea Culture and Content Agency (Seoul, Korea, 82-2-2016-4073): The gung-ho trade org has a new CEO and president in S. Man Ko, whose TV industry career has seen him serve as CEO at Korean broadcaster EBS, and more recently as a producer and executive director at MBC TV. Since 2001, KOCCA has catalyzed significant growth in Korea’s animation and character licensing industries, putting the region on the map as a serious player in the kids entertainment industry. Ko will be looking for ways to build on that momentum.
Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group (New York, New York, 212-846-8000): As Nick continues to experience success with its growing live-action library, Paula Kaplan has been promoted from SVP of talent to EVP of talent and West Coast GM. She’ll continue to oversee talent recruitment and casting as well as expand the net’s talent development and music initiatives.
In the world of web, Jason Root has been upped from VP of Nick.com to SVP of digital for Nick.com and NickatNite.com. In addition to overseeing operations for Nick.com and implementing growth strategies for NickatNite.com, NicktoonsNetwork.com, Nicktropolis.com and TurboNick.com, Root is now charged with guiding the development of immersive sites for all Nickelodeon properties and will play a key role in expanding the company’s online gaming efforts.
Nickelodeon International (London, England, 44-207-478-5200): To help grow business across Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Russia, Alex Chien has come on-board as head of the Nickelodeon Emerging Markets team. No stranger to making connections in tough markets, Chien was VP of creative and content for Nickelodeon Networks Asia, where she directed creative strategy across local channels and programming blocks.
Working with her is Erinn Thompson, a former Disney Channel UK acquisitions supervisor, who comes in as program and acquisitions manager for all channels operating in the those very same emerging regions.
Nicktoons Network (New York, New York, 212-258-8000): Gregarious channel GM Keith Dawkins has taken on an extra set of responsibilities as SVP of Nickelodeon programming partnerships. Under his newly expanded remit, Dawkins is now charged with sussing out creative content deals, funding opportunities and lucrative partnerships with companies hailing from the toy, gaming, digital and movie studio industries. He will also oversee international and domestic acquisitions for both Nickelodeon and Nicktoons, as well as working with Nick International’s development team to hatch strategies for successfully tapping into new content distribution channels. And if all of that wasn’t enough, Dawkins is still managing daily operations at Nicktoons.
PorchLight Entertainment (Los Angeles, California, 310-477-8400): Shifting internally from a lead position on the launch of UGC site KidVideo.com, Brenda Bisner has been installed as VP of acquisitions. As such, she’ll be combing the international market for kids animated and live-action programming for the company’s distribution, home entertainment and digital media divisions to play with.
Sesame Workshop (New York, New York, 212-875-6649): A former image design director at Nike, Janet Boye Jenkins has been brought in as the Workshop’s new VP of creative services. Jenkins will be responsible for directing the creative development of brand and marketing for all Sesame Workshop properties. The brief centers on developing strong and vibrant visual property identities that can play out across all products, packaging, merchandising materials and advertising. In her previous role at Nike, Jenkins’ duties included leading a team of designers in the creation of product graphics, packaging and marketing communications.
Target Entertainment (New York, New York, 917-256-0623): Working towards getting US and Canadian licensing programs for January’s US$65-million theatrical redux of The Nutcracker off the ground, Richard Oren has stepped into a newly minted position as VP of licensing for the US, Canada and Latin America. Beyond that first priority item, Oren will be creating strategic licensing plans for series developed by Target Entertainment’s Children’s and Family Programming division, acquiring third-party representation rights to other brands and managing the company’s Latin American agents. He was previously director of licensing at HBO.
The Licensing Shop (Toronto, Canada, 416-322-7300): After years spent working with international licensing agents on DIC’s many kids properties, Nancy Fowler has officially switched sides in the L&M game to work full-time with TLS founder Steve Fowler (also her husband) on building the yearling agency’s client base and presence in the Canadian licensing industry.
The Licensing Shop has just moved into new downtown Toronto offices and Nancy is currently concentrating her efforts on retail development. She and Steve are looking to fill creative (product development, art direction) and administrative positions. TLS represents Pokémon, Sesame Workshop, CBS Consumer Products and various properties from Al Ovadia & Associates in the Canadian market.
Toys ‘R’ Us Japan (Tokyo, Japan, 81-4-4549-9030): Monika Merz has moved halfway around the world for her new gig as CEO of TRU Japan. Over the past 11 years, Merz has worked her way in the retailer’s Canadian division from VP and general merchandising manager to president.
Twentieth Century Fox Licensing & Merchandising (Los Angeles, California, 310-369-1000): Both Lora Cohn and Virginia King have become VPs of US licensing, with Cohn tackling hardlines (including toys, games, gift/novelty, electronics and sporting goods) and King on softlines (accessories, social expressions, publishing, etc.). Cohn was previously manager of toys and games, and King was director of worldwide publishing.
And Carl Lumbard has been promoted from MD to SVP and MD of Fox L&M Europe, overseeing the brand expansion of The Simpsons and Ice Age, as well as priming the market for action-oriented franchises 24 and Prison Break.
The Walt Disney Company India (Mumbai, India, 91-22-5651-6649): Armed with key regional insights gleaned from his previous job marketing Johnson & Johnson products in India, Mahesh Samat has been brought in as MD to drive the company’s strategy there, overseeing global franchises, expanding existing businesses and seeking out new opportunities. As it stands now, the only Disney India holding not under Samat’s purview is the ESPN/Star Sports joint-venture.
Wildbrain (New York, New York, 212-777-7735): Bob Higgins has joined the prodco as head of creative. He’s charged with overseeing development, production and acquisitions and will be stationed in the New York offices of Wildbrain subsidiary, Kidrobot. Higgins previously served as SVP of programming and development for Cartoon Network’s kids businesses, where he was responsible for managing on-air scheduling as well as overseeing the net’s development, production and programming departments for original animation concepts.