4Kids Entertainment (New York, New York, 212-758-7666): Matthew Miller has been upped from account executive to VP of advertising sales and will take on more oversight for national advertising around 4Kids’ properties. He’ll play a key role in media sales planning and strategy for 4KidsTV and 4Kids VOD. Miller joined the 4Kids sales team in 2002 after a six-year stint with Turner Broadcasting, where he worked in marketing and ad sales positions for Cartoon Network, TBS and TNT.
At the same time, the company has split up its co-MDs into specific function-based roles. Sandra Vauthier-Cellier has been named MD of 4Kids International and will oversee teams working in the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. And Olivia Mellett becomes executive director of finance and operations.
Big Idea (Franklin, Tennessee, 615-224-2200): The home of VeggieTales has promoted the property’s co-creator Mike Nawrocki to VP of development, with control over all creative and production activity at Big Idea Studio, including new projects brewing around faith-based staples VeggieTales and 3-2-1 Penguins. His initial efforts will include developing an original TV series based on VeggieTales.
Decode Enterprises (Toronto, Canada, 416-363-8034): In the wake of its merger with Entertainment One, DHX Media’s distribution arm has expanded its sales team, bringing on Emmanuelle Bon as its new French territory manager. Based in London, Bon reports to VP of distribution Josh Scherba, and will sell Decode’s catalogue in French-speaking Europe, Benelux and Scandinavia. She previously worked for Entertainment Rights, covering the same region, and prior to that, she worked at Canal J as head of acquisitions.
Disney Channel Worldwide (Burbank, California, 818-560-5843): The Mouse House has promoted Sean Cocchia from VP of business development to SVP of business planning and development. His widened remit will encompass strategic oversight and business planning for Disney Channels Worldwide, and he’ll also have a hand in evaluating new business opps, new channels and potential acquisitions.
Also moving up in the ranks at Disney, Matt Robson has been upped to programming director for Scandinavia and emerging markets. In his new role, he will oversee programming, scheduling and local productions for Disney Channels and Playhouse Disney blocks in these regions. Robson was a central member of the team that launched Disney Channel in Poland, South Africa, the Middle East, Turkey, Malta and Serbia.
France Télévisions (Paris, France, 33-1-5622-9000): Following recent reforms that have seen the three kids departments from France 3, France 2 and France 5 merge into a central organization in charge of co-productions, acquisitions and programming, Julien Borde has been named children’s and youth program director, managing a team of 22 people. Reporting directly to Borde are France 2′s former head of acquisitions Sophie Gigon as the new deputy director in charge of live-action co-pros and kids acquisitions. And Céline Limorato segues from her head of kids TV position at France 5 into a new role as deputy director of animation co-pros, global media and new formats. Limorato is now repping the organization on all animation productions and new media activities.
The shuffle also sees Christine Reinaudo move into an acquisitions manager role, while Pierre Siracusa is tapped as manager of animation for kids six to 12. Céline Chesnay will oversee preschool animation as a manager; and Voyelle Acker rounds out the team as new media and new format manager.
HIT Entertainment (London, England, 44-207-554-2500): With half a year under his belt as CEO and president, Jeffrey Dunn has reorganized the company’s management structure with an eye towards growth in the coming year. Peter Byrne will now be dedicated exclusively to expanding international business and developing markets, third-party licensing and acquistions. Working as EVP of consumer products and home entertainment, Byrne will be based in London and report directly to Dunn.
To complement Byrne’s function, Pam Westman has been promoted to EVP of consumer products and home entertainment for the Americas. She will be responsible for consumer products, home entertainment, retail development, marketing and creative services in the US, Canada and Latin America.
HIT has also created a global brand management role across its divisions, promoting Natasha Fishman and Rick Glankler to SVP of brand management. Both are now responsible for long-term planning and strategic direction vis a vis HIT’s portfolio of brands.
MarVista Entertainment (Los Angeles, California, 310-737-0950): Expanding its executive roster, the indie production and distribution company has brought on Robyn Snyder as VP of production and Paul Hazen as VP of acquisitions and operations. Snyder will oversee all the aspects of development and manage production on various TV movies and series projects. Hazen is responsible for acquiring new film and television properties for MarVista’s expanding library.
Nickelodeon Kids and Family Games Group (New York, New York, 212-846-8000): The fledging division charged with creating innovative gaming experiences has made a round of appointments to get things underway. David Bergantino steps in as VP of premium games production, while Shaan Kandawalla is upped from director of digital games to VP of retail and licensed games and Peter Banks joins as VP of engineering.
Bergantino will oversee production and creative on all licensed and self-published premium games across the Group’s many platforms. He used to be an independent producer, designer and writer for clients including Sony Computer Entertainment and Gizmo Games.
Acting as a liaison between the games team and the consumer products group, Kandawalla is also charged with console and retail game partnership development.
Banks will lead technical strategy and product planning. In his new role, he’s looking after site development and e-commerce, community and social networking platforms to support the Group’s online product initiatives.
Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products (New York, New York, 212-846-8000): Nick’s CP arm has picked up HIT’s former senior director of international home entertainment Gavin Metcalfe to manage its global homevid business as VP of international home entertainment. Based in London, Metcalfe will work with the entire MTV Networks portfolio of children’s, youth and adult brands, including Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., MTV and Comedy Central. He will also manage relationships with global distribution partners such as Paramount Home Entertainment.
RDF Kids & Family (London, England, 44-207-013-4000): Former 4Kids International co-MD Stephen Gould has moved over to RDF as director of consumer products. Gould joins the company in a consultant’s role on all aspects of global licensing, retail, promotions, events and home entertainment on properties including Waybuloo, Yo Gabba Gabba! and Escape from Scorpion Island. Gould spent four years at 4Kids, where he oversaw UK licensing and retail activity for its portfolio of brands.
Red Kite Animation (Edinburgh, Scotland, 44-131-554-0060): Catherine Williams has been brought in as a development producer with an express mandate to fatten up the Scottish prodco’s slate. As such, she is working with the senior management team to help develop and produce a range of entertainment concepts for the international marketplace. During her career, Williams has worked on kids productions including Pocoyo, My Parents Are Aliens and Bear Behaving Badly.
Sesame Workshop (New York, New York, 212-595-3456): Sesame has picked up Emmy-winning producer Andrew Ames to shepherd its many international co-pros and special projects as VP of global production. Ames won an Emmy for his work on Reading Rainbow in 2001/2002.
Target Entertainment Group (New York, New York, 212-691-3780): Target has recruited DreamWorks’ former head of European licensing and promotions Samantha Kelly as its new UK head of licensing. On a regional level, Kelly will be responsible for managing the local licensing team, managing key categories and overseeing retail relationships, and she’ll also implement UK-specific and international L&M strategies.
Turner Entertainment Networks Asia (Hong Kong, 852-3128-3333): Mark Eyers has been promoted into a brand-new role as VP of content, and he will now oversee scheduling, acquisitions, programming operations, presentation, original production/development and new brand initiatives.
The move is more of a role expansion, since Eyers is already responsible for operations, acquisitions and development for Cartoon Network, Pogo and Boomerang channels in Asia-Pacific as executive director of programming. Prior to joining TENA, he managed the creative department at Walt Disney Television International in Singapore.
Toei Animation (Tokyo, Japan, 81-35-261-7619): The veteran Japanese animation house is expanding its executive team with an eye towards increasing its co-pro and digital media/mobile activities in the US. Kozo Morishita has been named chairman and CEO and will be responsible for the content and international businesses, as well as exploring co-production opportunities.
Kanji Kazahaya has been tapped as president and COO of Toei Animation, and Hiroyuki Kinoshita will remain in his post as CFO, secretary and treasurer. Finally, Sae Song has been appointed to manage Toei Animation’s digital media and mobile content operations in the US.
Twentieth Century Fox (Los Angeles, California, 310-369-1000): The entertainment giant has appointed Gary Rosenfeld as SVP of new media licensing. In the newly created position, Rosenfeld will oversee Fox’s extensive portfolio of video game projects based on its IP library. He will be tasked with exploring opps in the growing PC online game space and developing new partnerships in the console publishing arena. Prior to joining Fox, Rosenfeld was SVP of business development at THQ.
Wildbrain (Los Angeles, California, 310-271-1400): Lisa Ullmann has been brought in as VP of development and will play a key role in expanding the company’s TV, feature film and new media development slate to serve a wider variety of audiences. Prior to joining Wildbrain, Ullman worked as director of original series at Spike TV, so she has a well-developed sensibility for adult-skewing fare.