At press time, the French kids broadcast scene was just starting to settle down after a summer that saw the departure of several major executives at some of the territory’s top kids networks, including TF1, Canal+ and Lagardère Active channels.
Dominique Poussier, TF1′s long-time director of children’s programming, who was responsible for creating its Tfou brand, is departing the network to reportedly pursue a personal project. Replacing Poussier on
October 1 is Yann Labasque, who was previously in charge of editorial and development at TF1 Games and will now report to the net’s programming director, Laurent Storch. (Labasque hadn’t taken up the new post by our deadline and couldn’t yet comment on his plans for Tfou.)
Over at Canal+, François Deplanck left his post as head of the children’s programming division to become president of the company’s newly formed gambling venture. Replacing him is Laurence Blaevoet, former director of scheduling for Canal+. The broadcaster’s kids division includes diginets Teletoon and Piwi and pay-TV channel Canal+ Family. Replacing Blaevoet is former deputy scheduling director, Vincent Navarro.
While she plans to continue the work that Deplanck carried out on preschool channel Piwi and kids channel Teletoon, Blaevoet’s new remit goes a bit further than her predecessor’s as she’s also leading kids and family offering, Canal+ Family.
The 2.5-year-old channel, which launched with fare pulled from the Canal+ library of kids series, documentaries and TV movies, is growing, and Blaevoet says Canal+ Family needs a revamp in terms of co-productions and pre-buys. Currently, she’s looking for edgier animation in the same vein as The Simpsons to set the channel apart from its competitors in France. She’ll be on the lookout at MIPCOM and Canada’s Ottawa Animation Festival in October. In the meantime, she is open to taking submissions on a year-round basis.
Over at Lagardère Active, which owns kids channels Gulli, Canal J and Tiji, Karine Leyzin moves up from DTT channel Gulli to the role of deputy director of programming and schedules for the entire group, including June, which targets young women. She’ll also have a hand in international development, acquisitions and co-productions. Leyzin’s promo comes on the heels of news that Pierre Belaisch, who had been MD of programming, left to head up animation at Paris-based prodco Gaumont-Alphanim. Lagardère Active’s VP of channels Emmanuelle Guilbart has also decamped the broadcaster to join France Télévisions as MD of programming.