4Kids Productions (New York, New York, 212-590-2100): The 4Kids Entertainment subsidiary has bumped two of its veteran execs into key creative and operational positions. Michael Haigney moves up to creative director and will report to chairman and CEO Alfred Kahn. Haigney is now responsible for the creative direction of all series adaptations and other projects created by 4Kids. Kristen Gray has been promoted to head of network operations. In her new role, Gray will oversee day-to-day operations of the TheCW4Kids TV block, 4Kids Productions and the 4Kids.tv website.
BRB Internacional (Madrid, Spain, 34-91-771-1400): BRB is strengthening its sales department and new technologies business by upping Nuria Queipo and Marijo Arnáiz. Queipo moves from head of customer service to head of sales for Central and Eastern Europe,, and will be responsible for managing TV rights. For her part, Arnáiz has been given additional duties as BRB’s head of home video entertainment and was also named director of digital media. In this capacity, she will be in charge of social networks, VOD, IPTV, mobile phone applications, video games and interactive apps with respect to both broadcast rights and marketing campaigns.
CBeebies (London, England, 44-181-576-3479): Seasoned children’s TV exec Kay Benbow has been named controller of the Beeb’s preschool channel, taking over from Michael Carrington. Benbow moves up from her role as head of CBeebies Production, Animation and Acquisitions, and plans to make the move to Salford when BBC Children’s moves to BBC North next year. Benbow began her career with BBC World and Domestic Services and moved to BBC Children’s in 1988. She built the preschool department as the CBeebies channel was launched and has served as executive producer on a wide range of in-house and independent shows, including Something Special, In The Night Garden, Numberjacks and ZingZillas.
Cartoon Network (Atlanta, Georgia, 404-827-1500): The Network has promoted two programming executives in its original series group. Tramm Wigzell is the new VP of action adventure, and Nick Weidenfeld is overseeing comedy development as VP. Wigzell, who served as director of action adventure for original series, will now lead the development of live-action and animation programming in the action genre. Weidenfeld is looking after Cartoon’s animation and live-action original comedy programs.
Corus Entertainment (Toronto, Canada, 416-588-5571): Doug Murphy is expanding his remit well beyond Canadian kidnets YTV and Treehouse and commercial arm Nelvana Enterprises, as he takes on the role of president of Corus Television, which includes Corus kidnets, 50% stakes in Teletoon and Teletoon Retro, W Network, Cosmopolitan TV, VIVA and W Movies, CMT (Canada), Sundance Channel (Canada) and HBO Canada. Murphy joined Corus Entertainment in 2002 and most recently held the post of EVP and GM of Corus Kids and president of Nelvana. There, he oversaw Corus’s global kids business, including specialty networks Treehouse, YTV and Nickelodeon (Canada), as well as Nelvana, Kids Can Press, KidsCo and qubo.
Endemol (London, England, 44-870-333-1700): Endemol has tapped former FremantleMedia exec Olivier Gers as CEO of Endemol Worldwide Brands. Gers will lead the new division focused on extending Endemol properties across multiple platforms, including licensing and merchandising and the creation of game applications and social gaming sites. Gers is working from Endemol Group’s London offices and will be joined by Joerg Bachmaier, who has been appointed SVP and GM of the Americas. Gers brings experience overseeing global brands including the Idol and Got Talent franchises, The Price Is Right, The X Factor and Baywatch to his new post.
Hasbro Studios (Los Angeles, California, 310-786-4601): Hasbro Studios has scooped up international programming and distribution exec Finn Arnesen to lead its global expansion effort as SVP of international distribution and development. In this newly created role, Arnesen is responsible for managing Hasbro’s global content sales, distribution, and channel and program development activities outside of North America, spanning television, online and other emerging media platforms. Arnesen comes to Hasbro from a 17-year stint at Turner Broadcasting System, where he oversaw programming and development for Cartoon Network International and other Turner-owned kids channels.
MTV Networks International (London, England, 44-207-478-6516): Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products has named John Collins as its new retail marketing director for EMEA. Collins comes from Chorion, where he managed European retail operations and launched The Mr. Men Show and Olivia into the market. In his new role, he’ll be tasked with creating relationships with retailers such as Carrefour, Auchan, Amazon, Tesco, MediaMarkt Saturn
and Toys ‘R’ Us.
Nickelodeon (New York, New York, 212-846-8018): Marjorie Cohn has been upped to president of original programming and development at Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids & Family Group, and will handle Nick’s slate of series, movies and live-action offerings. Cohn currently oversees the kidnet’s live-action creative executive teams on both the East and West coasts, managing the creative direction between series production and network departments. Cohn helms all original programming for Nick at Nite and TeenNick, as well as all original television movies.
Sesame Workshop (New York, New York, 212-875-6678): Sesame Workshop welcomes Lorenzo Dunoyer to the post of senior producer for Plaza Sesamo, the original Latin American version of Sesame Street. Dunoyer brings experience working for US network affiliates including NBC, PBS, Univision and Discovery Networks Latin America/Iberia to his new role. Most recently, he served as senior consultant of content and production for RTV/Senal Columbia.
Teletoon Canada (Toronto, Canada, 416-956-2060): Alan Gregg has been named director of original content for Teletoon Canada and will oversee content development and production for Teletoon’s two English and two French networks and their respective multiplatform services. Gregg is now responsible for the kidnet’s original production team in Toronto and Montreal and will work with production partners across Canada. Gregg has spent more than 12 years in the children’s television business, starting at YTV. Most recently, he had been story editing a new preschool series for guru Studio, and prior to that he opened a Toronto office for Ireland’s Brown Bag Films, where he oversaw the studio’s project and business development.
The Hub (Los Angeles, California, 323-549-4300): The Hasbro/Discovery Kids joint-venture has hired five senior executives in time for its launch in late 2010. As SVP of business and legal affairs, Joshua Meyer will work directly with CEO and president Margaret Loesch on production and talent deals, acquisitions, licensing, marketing, promotions, sales, operations, new media, digital distribution, copyrights, clearances and corporate regulatory and tax issues. He joins the network after serving as co-general counsel and SVP of business and legal affairs for Cookie Jar Entertainment since 2005. Jordan Beck, VP of creative services and on-air promotions, is tasked with communicating The Hub’s positioning. He comes from start-up network ReelzChannel, where he was responsible for on-air promotions and off-air advertising. He also oversaw promotional spots for on-air, advertising and affiliate presentations for Fox Kids. Greg Heanue, VP of marketing and promotions comes to The Hub from The Weather Channel, where he served as VP of consumer and ad sales marketing. Previously, he was senior director of marketing at Cartoon Network. In his new role at The Hub, he will develop marketing and promotion strategies. Fred Poston. VP of operations, is responsible for the workflows being used for the launch and ongoing operations. He was previously an operations executive at Reelzchannel, TV Guide, ABC Family and the WB Television Network. Finally, VP of production and post-production Michael Ross will oversee development and execution of production and post-production for programming, including recruiting production companies and producers. Ross was head of production and executive producer for Baby Einstein and Disney Baby.
Tricon Films & Television (Toronto, Canada, 416-341-9926): The Canadian prodco has scooped up Jon Rutherford to grow its global distribution efforts as VP of international sales and acquisitions. Working with Carrie Mudd, (SVP of development and international sales), Andrea Gorfolova, (president), and Lia Dolente, (manager of international sales and publicity), Rutherford will be responsible for selling Tricon’s factual and scripted catalogue and building up its fledgling kids division. Along with Mudd, Rutherford will focus on worldwide television and home video sales, as well as building digital, new media and merchandising and licensing strategies for all titles. The pair will continue to add to Tricon’s sales team and lead the charge to acquire new content across all genres and platforms. Prior to joining Tricon, Rutherford worked for Toronto, Canada-based Portfolio Entertainment, where he was responsible for worldwide acquisitions and sales.
Turner CN Enterprises (London, England, 44-207-693-1000): The merchandising and licensing arm of Cartoon Network has appointed Ilissa Howard as director of North and South Asia CNE and Asia Pacific product development. In her newly created position, Howard will be based in Hong Kong and report directly to Dulce Lim-Chen, VP of CNE Asia Pacific. She is now responsible for the overall CNE business in Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, South Asia and Taiwan and will spearhead CNE’s product development initiatives, working closely with the creative team on developing new portfolios for Cartoon Network original properties, acquisitions and regional properties. Previously, Howard was global brand director at Toys ‘R’ Us, and before that she held a global toys manager position at Disney and Mattel/Fisher-Price.