CBeebies (London, England, 44-208-743-8000): Preschool producer Alison Stewart has been tapped to head up production, animation and acquisitions for CBeebies, replacing Kay Benbow who is now controller of the channel brand. Like Benbow, Stewart will be leading her team from Salford Quays when BBC Children’s makes its move next year. Stewart is shifting from her current role as executive editor for CBeebies where she led in-house development in all aspects of production. Commissions include ZingZillas, which is the first collaboration between in-house production and BBC Worldwide. Stewart started at the Beeb as a dresser in the costume department on a three-month contract. Those three months turned into 15 years, as she moved into the production sector. She left the BBC in 1996 to work as a producer, director and scriptwriter in the independent sector and later returned to the mothership in 2007.
Rubicon (Los Angeles, California, 818-715-7179): Rubicon Studios has appointed Marlene Sharp to the newly created director of development position. She will be responsible for finding IPs for the studio to develop across all platforms, along with seeking out production and co-production partners for new and existing properties. She joins the company from Two Twigs & A Berry Productions, where she worked as co-CEO/producer. Prior to Two Twigs, Sharp was producer/manager of distribution and marketing at Enemes, a South Korean company with offices in L.A.
Saban Brands (Los Angeles, California, 310-557-5151): The recently formed subsidiary of Saban Capital has added two key execs to its consumer products team. Nina Leong joins as SVP of licensing, while Kirk Bloomgarden will take the reins for efforts outside the US as SVP of international licensing. Coming off an 11-year stint at Disney Consumer Products, and serving as EVP of consumer products for The Firm, Leong brings more than 20 years of business development experience to her new role. She will be responsible for overseeing all current licensed products and programs, as well as developing partnerships with new licensees on behalf of the company’s properties. Most recently an EVP at Cookie Jar Entertainment and one of the founders of international licensing agency CPLG, Bloomgarden brings decades of experience to overseeing the expansion of Saban’s business beyond US borders.
Twentieth Century Fox (Los Angeles, California, 310-369-1000): Fox has restructured its licensing division, which now boasts a new name and a reconfigured executive team. Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products, as it’s been dubbed, will focus on long-term brand-building and the immediate growth of international businesses through consumer products, retail partnerships and licensing initiatives. Former HIT Entertainment exec Pam Kunick-Cohen has been tapped as SVP of global brand management to lead the new team. Kunick-Cohen, who returns to Fox where she was once SVP in the home entertainment division, will determine long-term franchise opportunities both domestically and globally. As the new SVP of global creative, Ricardo Crespo is charged with translating Fox’s portfolio of TV and film properties into new products. Crespo hails from Mattel, where he last served as worldwide executive group creative director. And the newly appointed global category management team includes SVP of new media Gary Rosenfeld, who will continue overseeing Fox’s video game projects and managing the division’s games development staff. Lora Cohn, meanwhile, will serve as VP of toys & social expressions, and Virginia King is now VP of fashion & home. As Fox Consumer Products sets its sights on expanding global sales, three teams have been set up to cover four regions. To that end, Kevin Sherwood has been appointed VP of North America sales. Sherwood comes from the Fox Home Entertainment division, where he spent the last five years as executive director of retail marketing. To lead efforts in Asia Pacific & Latin America, Bob Bacon has been named VP. They join Carl Lumbard, currently SVP and MD for EMEA.
The Walt Disney Company (Los Angeles, California, 818-560-3173): Rita Ferro has been promoted to EVP of Disney Media Sales and Marketing, suceeding Tricia Wilber, who was recently named CFO for The Walt Disney Company EMEA. In assuming her new role, Ferro will relocate to New York from Miami, where she’s been a part of Disney and ESPN’s Latin American business since 1997. Ferro will lead the integrated sales team that represents and maximizes advertising sales, marketing and promotions across Disney’s media platforms serving kids, moms and families, including Disney Channel, Disney XD, Playhouse Disney (soon to be rebranded Disney Junior), plus more than 20 online properties. Ferro has been VP of advertising sales at Disneymedia+ since 2008.
Warner Bros. Consumer Products (London, England, 44-207-984-6100): WBCP has promoted Pilar Zulueta to EVP and GM for EMEA, charging her with managing licensing and retail business development activities. Zulueta will continue working with licensees, retailers and promotional partners to oversee regional sales and marketing initiatives related to key consumer products categories including toys, apparel and accessories, housewares, promotions and publishing. Zulueta joined WBCP in 1997 as GM of operations in Spain and Portugal, was promoted to VP and GM of Southern Europe, and then moved up to SVP in 2002.