Activision Blizzard (Los Angeles, California, 310-255-2000): Putting his knowledge of the kids industry to good use in the gaming world, Kenny Davis has moved from Spin Master to the gameco as marketing director in the owned business unit. At the toyco, he served as senior brand manager, helping to launch boys powerhouse property Bakugan. His new role at Activision will see him specializing in ideation and innovation for classic kids titles.
BBC Worldwide (London, England, 44-208-433-3506): As the commercial arm of the Beeb looks to strengthen its programming output across its localized channels, John Taite has been upped to VP of programming for EMEA. Taite steps up from his previous role as director of programming. Since joining BBC Worldwide Channels in September 2007, Taite has supervised the creation of a dozen fully localized channels in the region. He’ll be taking editorial control for all BBC-branded channels across EMEA and leading an expanded team of schedulers, media planners and presentation planners. BBCW Channels is also looking to appoint heads of scheduling for Poland, Africa and the Nordic region in the coming months.
Meanwhile, Otto Leong has been tapped as director of distribution and business development for CBeebies, BBC Entertainment, BBC Knowledge, BBC Lifestyle and BBC World News in Taiwan and China. He’ll be based in Hong Kong and comes to BBCW with more than 20 years of experience in media and entertainment program distribution.
CCI Entertainment (Toronto, Canada, 416-583-2923): Kristin Lecour has been upped to director of licensing and marketing at the Canuck prodco. Lecour came to the company in 2006, to work on its marketing and licensing businesses by liaising with partners and coordinating global projects. She’ll now be focusing on building CCI’s properties, including GeoFreakZ and Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs.
Cookie Jar Entertainment (Los Angeles, California, 818-955-5400): Brenda Bisner is taking on an expanded role at the State-side office of Cookie Jar with a promotion to director of licensing. Bisner’s new responsibilities will see her working for SVP of digital content and distribution Jim McGowan to secure home entertainment partners and other licensees in categories such as home décor and toys for Cookie Jar’s IP portfolio, which includes Johnny Test, Inspector Gadget, Harlem Globetrotters and Lucha Libre. She’ll also be on the lookout for global interactive deals with developers and manufacturers of console games.
DC Thomson (Dundee, Scotland, 44-38-222-3131): Tim Collins is the newest member of the executive team at this UK publisher. As head of commercial development for children’s entertainment, Collins’ responsibilities include wider development of the company’s IPs, increasing income and generating greater commercial returns on existing and future titles, as well as third-party properties. Collins will also be managing the licensing, TV, syndication and digital project teams, working closely with them to ID and exploit opportunities. Collins comes to DC Thomson with a background in entertainment marketing, having worked at Universal Studios, DreamWorks, HIT Entertainment and Endemol.
DHX Media (Toronto, Canada, 416-363-8034): Looking to spearhead sales activity in Asia and Latin America, DHX has brought on former Breakthrough Entertainment sales exec Craig McGillivray as territory manager for Asia, Japan and Latin America. Anthony Jiwa will be stepping into a new role as director of marketing at Decode Enterprises, where he’ll be working across all DHX Media’s production output and distribution library. Based in the Vancouver office, Jiwa previously handled marketing at DHX subsidiary Studio B Productions. At the Toronto office, Anne Loi has been upped to SVP of finance operations for DHX Media. She held the same post at Decode and will continue to oversee Decode Interactive.
Disney Media Networks (Los Angeles, California, 818-560-3173): Todd Dubester has been promoted to VP of global distribution strategy and business development Disney Media Networks. He’ll be looking after the department that serves as the division’s resource in handling international, syndicated, digital and affiliate distribution of the House of Mouse’s entertainment and news content. Dubester and his team will be heading up initiatives to leverage growth opportunities, and he’ll also manage business operation and identify and evaluate new distribution channels, platforms, technologies and business models.
Hasbro (Pawtucket, Rhode Island, 401-727-5000): On the heels of scooping up a 10-year master toy license for Sesame Street, the playthings giant has brought in Jerry Perez to oversee its preschool division as SVP and global brand leader. In the new role, Perez is taking the reins on worldwide strategy, marketing and merchandising for Hasbro’s preschool brand portfolio, which includes PlaySkool, Mr. Potato Head and Play-Doh. He has more than 25 years experience in the toy biz, most recently at Learning Curve, and before that as president of LeapFrog from 2004 to 2007.
The Jim Henson Company (Los Angeles, California, 323-802-1500): A long-term agreement with Halle Stanford will see the SVP of children’s entertainment at Henson stepping up to EVP. As an exec with TJHC since 1995, Stanford has been leading the creative and production teams for Sid the Science Kid and Dinosaur Train. Her leadership role will see her continuing to helm development and production of all preschool and children’s programming for TV, direct-to-video and internet productions in animation and live-action formats.
Kidz Entertainment/EEMC (Copenhagen, Denmark, 453-355-6100): The licensing agency has announced a series of staff changes that went into effect at the beginning of the new year. Gabriel Sturm, former VP of sales for the Nordic region, has left the company and is moving with his wife to Hong Kong to work for Top Toy Group. Meanwhile, senior brand manager Karina Munkholm Graversen is stepping up to fill the vacated position. Kidz also has two new additions to its team. Annalisa Woods joins the company as brand manager, bringing a wealth of experience from her previous role at publisher HarperCollins. And Peter Schnohr has signed on as brand and retail consultant. He’ll be working with both the brand marketing and creative teams. Schnohr brings eight years of experience with Hasbro Nordic, including five years as sales director.
marblemedia (Toronto, Canada, 416-646-2711): As the prodco’s new creative director, Johnny Kalangis will be taking the lead on the interactive design process. He’ll focus on storytelling across all platforms, working with the sales team to integrate new business opps and spearhead a number of creative online projects in the interactive division. He’s also tasked with building and maintaining relationships with broadcasters, portals, publishers, distributors and other partners. Right now, his current projects include crafting online apps for series Skatoony, Stoked and Just Like Mom…and Dad. He comes to marblemedia from Canuck pubcaster the CBC, where he was in charge of online original programming and produced web projects for series like The Mercer Report, Doctor Who and Being Erica.
MTV Networks International (London, England, 44-207-478-6516): Indra Suharjono has been bumped up to the newly created position of EVP and MD for MTVN North and Southeast Asia. Suharjono will continue to be based in Singapore, and in her expanded role adds the oversight of activities in Japan and Korea to her current remit. As EVP and MD for Southeast Asia and Greater China, Suharjono was executive producer of the first original instalment of the MTV World Stage global franchise, created the first pan-regional programming platform showcasing original Chinese animation on Nick Asia, launched a Chinese-language SpongeBob SquarePants website, attracted new advertisers, (including the Philippines’ Department of Tourism and Sunway Resorts), and expanded NVCP into Thailand and Malaysia.
RDF Rights (London, England, 44-207-013-4000): This division of RDF Media Group has appointed Mark Watson as director of consumer products for its kids and family business. Watson joins RDF after a stint as UK licensing director at Twentieth Century Fox Licensing & Merchandising, where he was responsible for developing key brands such as The Simpsons. He’s also worked at toyco Character UK as sales and licensing director, helping to build the company and establishing new business with key UK retailers.
THQ (Agoura Hills, California, 818-871-5000): After three years of creating merch partnerships for Capcom’s interactive franchises, Germaine Gioia has returned to THQ as SVP of licensing and merchandising. As SVP of licensing at Capcom, Gioia secured a number of L&M deals to produce licensed games across multiple platforms. Prior to that, she spent 14 years at THQ, heading up the company’s in-bound licensing efforts.
Toei Animation Europe (Paris, France, 33-1-7500-1550): Toei Animation’s Europe office has a new VP in Ryuji Kochi, who’ll be moving to the company’s Paris office. Kochi is now responsible for developing new business across EMEA. He began his career at Toei’s Tokyo HQ in 2000, handling L&M activity for its properties, and he has also worked in the company’s Hong Kong office.