4Kids Entertainment (New York, New York, 212-758-7666): To add strength to the front lines of its L&M team, 4Kids has brought in industry vets Joe Marziotto and Glenn Pecoraro as VPs of retail development. They’ll work together to plan and implement the company’s retail programs, developing direct-to-retail initiatives and marketing & promotional strategies to drive brand awareness. Prior to joining 4Kids, Marziotto was VP of sales and marketing for Catalog/Legacy Recordings at Sony Music, and Pecoraro was at Classic Media as VP of retail development.
On the international front, ex-Gaffney exec Jessica Hatz has come aboard to oversee local agent activity in Italy, Portugal, GAS, Eastern Europe, Russia, South Africa and Israel. She’ll also manage hard goods across EMEA for 4Kids entertainment properties. Meanwhile, Sandra Arcan has left a licensing executive position with Nelvana International to manage the company’s portfolio in France, Spain, Benelux, the Nordics, Turkey, the Middle East, North Africa and India, as well as taking care of the soft goods categories for the greater EMEA region.
ABC TV Australia (Sydney, Australia, 61-2-8333-1500): Executive head of children’s television Tim Brooke-Hunt has consolidated the pubcaster’s kids programming unit with two key hires. Former Ki.Ka commissioning editor Barbara Uecker has taken the reins as head of programming and acquisitions, and award-winning producer Carla de Jong is the channel’s new commissioning and development editor for children’s TV. de Jong has spent the last two years working in the UK on various projects for BBC Children’s channels CBBC and CBeebies.
American Greetings Properties (New York, New York, 212-386-7337): Ashley Banker has been poached from HIT Entertainment to join AGP as director of retail marketing. Banker will be responsible for building relationships with key accounts, securing retailer support for the company’s properties and developing and executing retail marketing programs. Banker served as manager of brand licensing at HIT, and as retail business licensing manager for Little Tikes before that.
Brown Bag Films (Toronto, Canada, 416-466-9634): The Irish prodco has hired former Alliance Atlantis VP of kids Alan Gregg to head up its new Canadian studio as VP of international production. Gregg will oversee an expansion of Brown Bag’s development slate, concentrating on preschool, family and tween projects.
Cartoon Network (Burbank, California, 818-729-4000): As the channel continues to reshape its executive team under Stu Snyder’s guiding hand, Robert Swartz has been hired to run all of its development and current series production activity out of Burbank as VP of original series. Swartz should bring a different creative flavor to the mix from his experience as VP of alternative programming at the Sci-Fi Channel, where he oversaw development and production of reality, game/competition, late-night and other alternative programming.
Classic Media (New York, New York, 212-659-1959): Former Fisher-Price senior marketing manager Nina Henderson has joined as marketing director of seasonal, preschool and family brands in North America. Her wealth of experience marketing established children’s brands, including Sesame Street and Barney, should come in handy as Henderson starts mapping out brand strategies to support Classic’s efforts across programming sales, home video, digital, licensing and promotions.
Disney Channels Asia Pacific (Hong Kong, 852-2854-5600): Melissa Dixon moves up from VP of business operations to VP and GM of Disney Channels in Australia and New Zealand. In her new role, Dixon will be responsible for finding revenue growth opportunities, implementing programming and marketing strategies and liaising with other Disney businesses on franchise opportunities that crop up.
Entertainment Rights (London, England, 44-208-762-6200): Having established his street cred with Teletubbies and In the Night Garden, Andrew Kerr has left Ragdoll to join ER as director of international consumer products and marketing. It’s a new position at the company, and it puts Kerr in charge of aligning ER’s UK and international licensing and brand divisions to implement global strategies. Kerr was with Ragdoll for seven years, most recently as EVP of global licensing & marketing and a member of its board of directors.
Galleon Entertainment (London, England, 44-208-987-0011): In his new role as sales and licensing director, Erick Rouillé will dig into a property portfolio that includes Skunk Fu!, Apollo’s Pad, Sokator-442 and Mysti. Rouillé has managed IP rights and licensing contracts for animated TV series and films as a consultant since leaving his position as president of Saban Consumer Products France.
HIT Entertainment (New York, New York, 212-463-9623): Jeffery D. Dunn has replaced Bruce Steinberg as CEO and will focus on driving the company’s North American business to new heights. A former Nickelodeon Networks COO and Nickelodeon Film and Enterprises president, Dunn created the Noggin joint-venture with Sesame Workshop and built Nick’s licensing division. He has also spent the last two years working on HIT parentco Apax Partners’ media advisory board. Dunn will be based in the US, dividing his time between HIT’s offices there and in London.
NHK (Tokyo, Japan, 813-3464-1823): Replacing Genichi Hashimoto as the Japanese public broadcaster’s president is beer industry magnate Shigeo Fukuchi. Fukuchi joined Asahi Breweries in 1957 and worked his way up to president and COO in 2000. Now he’ll bring his considerable corporate management expertise to the broadcasting business, overseeing operations at NHK for a three-year term and expanding and enhancing the net through terrestrial and digital channels.
Nickelodeon Recreation (New York, New York, 212-846-8000): With all signs pointing to continued growth in the theme park and amusement sector, Nick has upped Howard Smith from SVP to EVP of Nickelodeon Recreation. In his expanded role, Smith will oversee all aspects of Nickelodeon’s global recreation business, including live tours, theme parks, hotels, cruises and new opportunities in the realm of leisure.
Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group (New York, New York, 212-846-8000): Jennifer Goodman Linn has come aboard as SVP of brand marketing after a stint as VP of marketing for Ann Taylor Corporation and as managing director of The Geppetto Group before that.
Radar Cartoons (Woodland Hills, California, 818-999-9947): Radar has tapped John Hardman to assist its global clients in developing TV and film concepts as producer’s representative. He will also pitch in with international sales, attending major markets on behalf of the company. Hardman’s last post was as SVP of programming at Kids’ WB!, but before that, he did stints as director of programming and development at DreamWorks’ Television Animation Division and as director of creative affairs at Klasky Csupo.
Taffy Entertainment (Los Angeles, California, 818-999-0062): After less than a year with the company, David DiLorenzo has been bumped up from VP of retail marketing to VP of consumer products and marketing and is now responsible for Taffy’s North American consumer products and marketing activities.
THQ (Los Angeles, California, 818-871-5000): In an effort to drive the creation of original IP at the company’s video game studios, two execs have been recruited into brand-new positions. Danny Bilson joins as VP of creative development from Electronic Arts, where he worked as VP of IP development and creative director and helped craft franchises like The Sims, Medal of Honor and Harry Potter. Stepping in as VP of production is Roy Tessler, who joined THQ five years ago as GM and co-founder of the company’s Australian studio.
Turner Entertainment Networks Asia (Hong Kong, 852-3128-3333): Benjamin J. Grubbs has been tapped to lead the company’s aggressive digital media expansion strategy as regional director of interactive media. Grubbs most recently served as eBay’s marketing director for Hong Kong and Macau.
Meanwhile, Dulce Lim Chen has been brought in as VP of Asia Pacific for Cartoon Network Enterprises and will oversee consumer products activities in 14 countries across the region. She hails from Sesame Workshop, where she was VP of business development for Asia Pacific on Sesame Street English.
Warner Bros. Consumer Products (Burbank, California, 818-954-7890): Preston Kevin Lewis will take care of the studio’s L&M business down under as MD for WBCP Australia and New Zealand. Lewis joined the company in June 2006 as VP of international licensing and began working on the territory later that year. Now he will be responsible for day-to-day operations of the division, overseeing all local sales, marketing, retail, promotions and licensing activity.
V-me (New York, New York, 212-560-2054): The US Spanish-language digital network has recruited Frank Donaldson as its new SVP and director of advertising sales. Based in New York, Donaldson will be responsible for expanding the national sales team and broadening the channel’s account base. Donaldson was most recently SVP of national sales for Univision/Telefutura.