Bardel Entertainment (Toronto, Canada, 416-558-8231): The West coast Canadian prodco is setting up a Toronto satellite operation to house Sarah Haasz as director of development. Laid off in the most recent round of redundancies at Corus, Haasz is coming off a 12-year stint with the company, 10 of which she spent in the original programming department churning out 1,500-plus hours of content for YTV, Treehouse TV and Discovery Kids Canada. In her new gig, Haasz will oversee Bardel’s development slate, as well as working with the company’s Vancouver team on shows that are currently in production.
Classic Media (New York, New York, 212-659-1959): Karyn Schneider has defected from United Media to join the ER-owned company as VP of licensing for North America. Schneider brings more than 15 years of experience in sales and brand licensing to the table, most recently holding down an executive director of licensing position at the house of Peanuts. With Classic, she will build up the New York-based consumer products team and oversee L&M activities for the merged portfolio that includes Where’s Waldo?, Casper the Friendly Ghost, George of the Jungle and Rupert Bear.
Entertainment Rights (London, England, 44-208-762-6200): Across the pond at ER headquarters, Adam Selly joins as head of sales. Reporting to director of international sales Chloe van den Berg, Selly will be responsible for generating and maximizing TV and home entertainment revenue in established regions other than Canada and Japan, as well as identifying new revenue streams in emerging markets. Before going indie to launch his own animation company, Dynamite Entertainment, Selly spent six years overseeing sales and L&M in Asia-Pacific at HIT Entertainment.
Hasbro (Pawtucket, Rhode Island, 401-727-5000): Coming off a banner year spurred by the blockbuster success of Transformers at box office and at retail, the titan toyco has created a new position to keep the momentum going. Former Fox exec Lisa Licht is settling in as GM of entertainment and licensing, with a mandate to build Hasbro’s entertainment industry relationships and grow its licensing programs globally. Licht most recently served as EVP of global marketing partnerships at Twentieth Century Fox, and before that, she did some time at Mattel as VP of marketing for the worldwide Barbie program.
HIT Entertainment (London, England, 44-207-554-2500): Another Fox exec has left the den, this one is crossing the continent to join HIT’s New York office as SVP of business development for North America. Gary Krakower put in nine years at Fox, most recently working as VP of international licensing and merchandising. At HIT, he will focus his attention on live events, theme parks and attractions – three profit centers the company has earmarked for growth.
KB Toys (Pittsfield, Massachusetts, 413-496-3000): Amidst reports that it may be shutting down as many as 122 stores, the mall-based toy chain has appointed two new buyers to oversee merchandising operations. Nancy Sheridan Mullen hails from Bed, Bath & Beyond and will head up purchasing for games, electronics and puzzles. And former Crayola buyer Stephen Mariconda will take care of crafts, activities, and fashion & basic dolls.
Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group (Burbank, California, 818-736-3000): Alison Dexter has been upped from SVP to EVP of production, with a purview that includes oversight of all TV production activity for Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Noggin, Nicktoons Network and The-N. A 16-year Nick veteran, Dexter is also spearheading the push to deliver theatrical-quality animation to the network.
Pact (London, England, 44-207-067-4378): The UK trade org that represents indie producers has named its council for the coming year. Kids entertainment figures playing a role in 2008 include Novel Entertainment MD Mike Watts (vice chair of children’s & animation), Twofour founder Charles Wace (chief executive), RDF Media Group commercial director Debbie Manners (vice chair of television) and Slate Films co-founder Andrea Calderwood (vice chair of feature films).
Target Entertainment (London, England, 44-870-164-7474): Shelley Kerridge has been upped to head of licensing, overseeing activity in tentpeg categories like toys, publishing, apparel and footwear across a territory swath that includes France, Germany, Benelux, Scandinavia, Asia-Pacific and Australasia. She’ll also work closely with Richard Oren, Target’s New York-based VP of licensing for the US, Canada and Latin America, on third-party promotions.