9 Story Entertainment (Toronto, Canada, 416-530-9900): The Canadian prodco has added two new senior executives to its roster. Jill Fraser has been named VP of business affairs and Krista Barron is now manager of production finance. The two will report directly to Steve Jarosz, VP and COO of 9 Story Entertainment. As VP of business affairs, Fraser will be responsible for legal and business matters, while Barron takes on the administration and certification of tax credits and other domestic funding on all 9 Story productions.
American Greetings Properties (New York, New York, 212-386-7337): Two key hires and one promotion have been made at the New York office, which handles brand management, marketing and outbound licensing for AG. Joan J. Grasso, former Nickelodeon and Fisher- Price executive has joined AG’s IP-arm as VP of domestic licensing, while former United Media exec Carla Silva has been named director of international licensing. Tony Chien, who spent four years at Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products as toy and sporting goods manager, has been upped from brand manager to senior brand manager.
Calon (Cardiff, Wales, 44-292-048-8400): Rolant Tomos has joined the company as a development executive working directly with head of development, Andrew Offiler, concentrating on Calon’s upcoming live-action projects. Tomos was previously with Ffilmiau’r Nant and Opus, where he directed several Welsh works and also served as producer and writer. His first project at Calon will be to work up pilot series Llew ap Blew in conjunction with S4C.
Cartoon Network (Atlanta, Georgia, 404 8272250): Adina Pitt is trading in SpongeBob for Bloo in her new role as VP of content acquisitions and co-productions for Cartoon Network and Boomerang. Pitt will be responsible for identifying, negotiating and acquiring pre-produced series, specials, movies and short-form content that fit into the skeds and multiplatform plans for both CN and Boomerang. Pitt will also help coordinate global acquisitions contracts with Turner’s other international Cartoon Network and Boomerang channels, and she’ll represent the US networks at all major programming markets. Reporting directly to CN’s chief content officer Robert Sorcher, Pitt will be working out of New York City. Pitt joined Nickelodeon in 1998 as an acquisitions coordinator, and had worked her way up to the post of VP of acquisitions for Nickelodeon and MTVN Kids and Family Group before joining CN.
Molly Chase has been named VP and executive producer at CN New Media she will oversee several of the net’s new media departments, including the design studio, technology group, game studio and the production team in Atlanta. She’ll direct all aspects of production for CartoonNetwork.com, Awesomehouseparty.com and ToonamiJetstream.com. Chase started with Cartoon Network New Media in 2002 as a supervising producer, moving up to executive producer in 2005.
Disney-ABC International Television Asia-Pacific (Hong Kong, 852-2203-2000): Rob Gilby is stepping into the role of SVP and MD of Disney-ABC International Television, Asia-Pacific. Growing distribution and revenue of all television and film content developed through Disney Studios, ABC TV, ABC Studios, Disney Channel and Disney-ABC Cable Networks in the Asia Pacific Region will be his top priority. Gilby will be making the move to Hong Kong from London, where he held the post of MD for Disney Channel UK, Scandinavia and emerging markets since January 2006.
Genius Products (Santa Monica, California, 310-453-1222): Matthew Smith has come on board as president of the company’s operating unit, stepping over from his role as SVP of media development at Blockbuster. He’ll now be leading Genius’ continued retail expansion and the co-production and distribution of Genius films. Additionally, Genius has promoted three execs to keep momentum going. Former EVP of sales Mitch Budin has been upped to EVP and GM, while EVP and GM Christine Martinez will take the role of EVP of corporate strategy and Michael Radiloff gets bumped up to EVP of production and acquisitions from his EVP of marketing post.
LazyTown Entertainment (London, England, 354-590-1700): As part of LazyTown’s UK expansion, CEO Magnus Scheving has tapped two licensing vets to lead the charge for the preschool brand outside of Iceland. Former HIT and ITV executive Katie Foster will head up the new office as director of brand and licensing, Europe. And Catrina Stock, coming off a two-year stint at Inspire GLG, has been named head of brand & licensing, Europe.
Mackinnon & Saunders (Altrincham, England, 44-161-929-4441): Executive producer Chris Bowden has joined the ranks and is getting down to work with producers Sara Mullock and Jackie Edwards to develop new IPs for television, as well as expanding the company’s production capabilities for both in-house and client-led products. Bowden comes to M & S from a 12-year stint at Cosgrove Hall, where he worked on Postman Pat, Fifi and the Flowertots and Roary the Racing Car.
MarVista (Los Angeles, California, 310-737-0950): Marc B. Lorber is taking on the newly created position of SVP of production. Lorber will spearhead the expansion of the company’s original productions and acquisitions, including feature films, movies of the week and series for the US and international markets. Since 2002, Lorber has served as a programming consultant, counting Disney-ABC International TV among his clients.
Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group (New York, New York, 212-846-8000): Nick has promoted 10-year MTV Networks veteran, Samantha Maltin, to the post of SVP of integrated marketing. Maltin will be responsible for developing global partnerships with US-based companies, and will oversee the expansion and execution of all on/off air promo and marketing efforts with key advertisers such as Mattel, Hasbro, Nintendo and General Mills. Maltin was most recently VP of Viacom Brand Solutions.
Also moving up the ranks is Samantha Greene Woodruff, who has been upped to VP of strategy and business development from director of research and planning. In her new role, Woodruff will support senior management in the development of long-range plans for the various brands within the Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group, including Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, The-N, Noggin and Nicktoons Network.
Parthenon Entertainment Group (London, England, 44-207-580-3099): Chief exec Carl Hall has appointed brand and licensing consultant Caroline Mickler to help ID new licensing opportunities for the company. Mickler has varied experience in the field, and has represented everything from pop super group The Beatles to Novel Entertainment’s core kids property Horrid Henry. Prior to hanging her own shingle, Mickler was joint MD of Copyright Promotions International, where she was responsible for launching Mr. Men/Little Miss and Phantom of the Opera in Japan.
Scholastic (New York, New York, Sony 212-343-6100): Suzanne Murphy has been promoted to VP and publisher of trade publishing and marketing. In her new position Murphy oversees the division’s editorial, design and marketing departments and reports to Ellie Berger, president of Scholastic’s trade publishing division. Murphy joined Scholastic in July 2005 and has looked after marketing and promotional efforts for Scholastic’s Trade publishing division, including the launch of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
As well, Murphy has announced a number of other promotions. David Saylor is taking on the newly created position of VP, associate publisher and creative director of hardcover books. Leslie Garych now holds the post of VP of trade marketing and Tracy van Straaten has gotten bumped up to VP of publicity and education/library marketing.
Starz Media (Burbank, California, 818-748-4000): Gene George is joining Starz as its new EVP of worldwide distribution. George will oversee sales and distribution functions for Starz Media, including forging partnerships with domestic and international broadcasters and expanding the company’s distribution to new markets worldwide. He’ll be working closely with the heads of Starz subsidiary companies, including Film Roman and Starz Productions president Scott Greenberg, Anchor Bay Entertainment president Bill Clark and Starz Animation Toronto head David Steinberg. Prior to joining Starz, George worked at Regent Worldwide, where he served as president.
Turner Animation (Atlanta, Georgia, 404-827-1700): Veteran brand marketing and promotion exec Brenda Freeman has been named to the newly created position of chief marketing officer. In her new role, Freeman will provide the overall marketing vision and leadership for on-air and trade creative services that support Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Boomerang. Turner’s kids and YA online businesses and digital enterprises, GameTap and Super Deluxe, will also fall under her remit. Previously, Freeman served as SVP of integrated marketing and promotions for Nickelodeon and MTVN Kids and Family Group.