BBC Worldwide is restructuring its children’s business. New MD Neil Ross Russell gives KidScreen Daily the lowdown.
The division is being rechristened Children’s and Licensing and will focus on expanding the BBCW’s global licensing business and raising the profile of its existing stable of properties in the US.
The corporation is currently headhunting for a global head of licensing to be stationed in its New York City office and work alongside current SVP of TV sales Susanna Pollock to oversee the expansion. As well, it will be adding brand managers who will look after individual IP. Further decisions about its UK operations have yet to be finalized.
‘It’s important that we can operate on a global scale,’ says Russell, adding that BBCW is one of the few corporations in the world increasing its investment in children’s TV. ‘We need to focus on where the real value is and for that the US is a very important market.’
To that end BBCW has also announced a new agreement with Ragdoll Entertainment, which will see the new Children’s and Licensing division managing US and Canadian TV sales and licensing for Teletubbies and In the Night Garden, two properties that Russell believes will have and continue to have great impact in the US.
‘Those two are key focuses for us,’ he says. ‘We have new Teletubbies merchandise coming as well as the In The Night Garden retail launch in the US next year.’