4Kids Entertainment (New York, New York, 212-758-7666):
Continuing to expand its global team, 4Kids has brought in Dave Sharat to source and sign agents, licensees and retailers in Asia-Pacific as VP of marketing and licensing for the region. Sharat was most recently based in Hong Kong as head of Asia-Pacific marketing and corporate affairs for Animation International.
American Greetings Properties (New York, New York, 212-386-7337): Julie Davis will be super-serving Care Bears, Holly Hobbie and Maryoku Yummy in her new role as senior brand manager, with a core focus on building brand awareness and developing and managing marketing programs. Davis used to oversee Strawberry Shortcake in her former position as senior manager of brand and marketing at DIC Entertainment.
AGP has put former Ragdoll USA senior manager of merchandising and media Matt Schweitzer in charge of Strawberry Shortcake, Sushi Pack, Twisted Whiskers and Madballs as brand manager. He’ll be responsible for developing and executing licensing programs for this property four-pack.
Cartoon Network (Atlanta, Georgia, 404-885-2263): Gearing up for the 2008/2009 broadcast season, Turner has consolidated its New York-based advertising and consumer products sales teams. Leaving the fold are: Beth Goss, EVP of CN and Adult Swim sales, marketing and enterprises; Phyllis Ehrlich, SVP of CN and Adult Swim ad sales, marketing and promotions; and John Friend, SVP of Cartoon Network Enterprises.
CN veteran John O’Hara has been promoted from SVP of sales to EVP of sales and marketing for Cartoon Network and Adult Swim, and will now oversee all sales efforts for the net. Christina Miller, meanwhile, moves up from VP of US consumer products to direct worldwide L&M strategy as VP of global consumer products.
Down in Atlanta, Jill Shields has been promoted to SVP of marketing and promotions for the company’s Animation, Young Adults and Kids Media division and will keep busy developing and executing marketing campaigns and building revenue streams for the brands that play into the unit, including Cartoon Network and GameTap.com. Previously, Shields served as SVP of promotions marketing and sponsorships for Cartoon Network and Adult Swim.
Chorion (London, England, 44-207-061-3800): The busy IP hub has picked up MM Merchandising alum Bettina Köckler to run its L&M business in the UK and EMEA as VP of licensing sales. Köckler started her career at MM and came back as MD after a stint at Sony Pictures Consumer Products. More recently, she has consulted on consumer products business for companies including CBS and 19 Entertainment.
Discovery Communications (Silver Spring, Maryland, 240-662-2000): In a bid to bolster its consumer products division, Discovery has recruited two execs to spearhead efforts at home and abroad. Julie Robertson comes in as VP of domestic licensing from a previous position as SVP of marketing for Feld Entertainment, where she worked on Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circuses and the Disney ice show series. And Jo Edwards will oversee efforts abroad as VP of international licensing, coming off a stint as an operations director at streaming content specialist Marshall Media.
Disney Channel (Burbank, California, 818-560-5843): Taking on the whole preschool enchilada, Nancy Kanter has seen her role expand from SVP of Playhouse Disney US to Playhouse Disney Worldwide. Kanter will continue to oversee the development and production of all programming for the broadcast brand, and she’ll also unify the programming, marketing and brand management teams that run these channels around the world.
Hasbro (Pawtucket, Rhode Island, 401-727-5000): Jumping toycos, Bandai marketing whiz Mike Riley joins the team with a remit for sussing out new content vehicles beyond feature films for Hasbro’s extensive property portfolio. Working as VP of entertainment marketing, Riley will be based in L.A.
ITV Worldwide (London, England, 44-208-528-2000): Spawned by the recent merger of Granada Ventures and Granada International, ITV Worldwide has set up Gustavo Antonioni as its new commercial brand director. The former Marvel Entertainment and Warner Bros. executive will be responsible for establishing global marketing and licensing strategy for ITV’s key commercial brands, as well as overseeing teams devoted to global marketing, brand management and L&M. He will also be working closely with ITV’s marketing and commercial teams.
Lionsgate Entertainment (Santa Monica, California, 310-449-9200): Kristin Moss has been upped from director to VP of marketing for the company’s home entertainment division. In her new role, Moss will add the HIT Entertainment brands to her management portfolio.
marblemedia (Toronto, Canada, 416-646-2711): Jack-of-all-trades Miklos Perlus has come aboard as head of content development and will get right to work sourcing and developing new TV, web and mobile projects to run through the studio’s pipeline. Over the past decade, Perlus has done a variety of kids entertainment work, both behind and in front of the camera. A former cast member of YTV’s Student Bodies, he has also served as a story editor on Degrassi: The Next Generation.
Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group (New York, New York, 212-846-8000): The company has formed a new Games and Virtual Worlds Group to make more waves in the burgeoning interactive market, putting two execs at the helm to lead teams devoted to each type of platform. Working out of San Francisco, Dave Williams will grow the subscription game services, licensing and self-publishing businesses as SVP and GM of the Games Group. Williams came to the MTV fold in late 2006 when the company bought Atom Entertainment, where he served as CMO and GM. In the online community space, L.A.-based Kyra Reppen will oversee the Virtual Worlds Group as SVP and GM. She will continue to run Neopets, which has seen its registered user base grow to 45 million under her guidance as SVP and GM of the site, and her wider remit now includes the creative development and management of new and existing virtual worlds and MMOGs.
Challenged with upping the ante on coordinating Nick’s already cohesive brand-building strategies for preschool properties, Jose Carbonell joins the net as VP of preschool/parenting brand marketing. Harnessing the power of cross-marketing on Nick’s pervasive platforms, Carbonell will initially formulate action plans for existing properties including Dora the Explorer, The Wonderpets and Ni Hao, Kai-lan. And he’ll also start working on launch strategies for Nick preschool shows in development, such as Bubble Guppies (2009) and Umi Zoomi (2010). Prior to joining the house of SpongeBob, Carbonell served as senior marketing director for Hartz-Mountain, the largest pet supply manufacturer in the US.
Toys ‘R’ Us (New York, New York, 646-366-8822): Kids retail heavyweight TRU has poached Maureen Watson from an EVP of commerce position at Discovery to oversee juvenile and apparel merchandising and vendor relations as SVP and chief merchandising officer of Babies ‘R’ Us.
Warner Bros. Animation (Burbank, California, 818-977-0819): Longtime Cartoon Network animation exec Sam Register has jumped to WBA to serve as EVP of creative affairs. He will spearhead the development and production of new programming and content for all distribution outlets, including television and KidsWB.com, the studio’s premium ad-supported web destination. He will also work with Warner Premiere on animated direct-to-DVD releases.
Wildbrain (San Francisco, California, 415-553-8000): Erin Webb Dippold has joined as director of licensing and will kick off her role by expanding the licensing program for preschool hit Yo Gabba Gabba! Dippold hails from New York-based licensing agency Ripe Ideas.