Armed with brand experience from her days at Sesame Workshop and MTV, Liz Nealon has stepped into a new GM role at New York-based Kidz Bop. Since taking the post, she’s been busily laying the groundwork to turn the by-kids-for-kids music brand into a media experience for its five to 12 target demo.
Nealon is no stranger to kids entertainment, coming to Kidz Bop most recently from Sesame. As the creative director there, she helped create virtual world Panwapa Island. On the TV production side, she’s served as co-creator and executive producer of PBS’s Ghostwriter as well as Disney Channel’s The Famous Jett Jackson. Having also held an SVP post at MTV International – where she helped launch localized adaptations of the net’s core brand in Europe, Asia, Australia and Latin America – Nealon’s well-equipped to expand the Kidz Bop brand.
Nealon now reports to co-founders Craig Balsam and Cliff Chenfeld, and her first priority is to get the 2009 Be A Kidz Bop Star talent search off the ground in late spring. Additionally, she’s overseeing the third-annual Kidz Bop Live tour, which is scheduled to hit 35 US cities starting in May. Also, at press time, Nealon was looking to announce a major QSR promo getting underway in late April that’s intended to generate brand awareness with kids and parents and drive them to the website (www.kidzbop.com), which just relaunched with integrated kid-generated content.
Currently, Nealon is in conversations to bring the brand more fully into Canada, where the QSR promo will also run. Another of her priorities is to find identifiable faces and voices for the Kidz Bop brand to build more recognizable talent. She’s also in the process of creating a record label. Working with the William Morris Agency to find emerging tween talent, Nealon is hoping to sign on some undiscovered stars to take into the recording studio this spring and lend their voices to upcoming CD Kidz Bop 16.