41 Entertainment (London, England, 44-790-373-0652): The production and distribution company has tapped Cynthia Kennedy to sell its growing catalogue of animated fare. Working out of 41e’s London office as VP of sales and marketing, Kennedy is looking after English, French- and German-speaking markets for all forms of exploitation, including the management of agents and building sales for properties like Blake: Double Identity and Sally McKay. Kennedy comes from Zodiak Entertainment and has prior experience at A&E Television Networks.
ABC Family (Los Angeles, California, 818-460-6689): Television and radio exec Michael Riley has been named president of ABC Family. Riley will have oversight of the channel’s original programming and acquisitions, franchise management, marketing, sales and operations, as well as responsibility for its strategic and creative direction. Riley makes the move from his previous role as SVP and GM of Radio Disney, where he oversaw the strategic management of the Radio Disney network and its portfolio of 36 radio stations. He joined The Walt Disney Company in April 2008 after holding various senior roles at Turner Broadcasting. His replacement at Radio Disney will be announced soon.
Baby First TV (Los Angeles, California, 310-443-9853): The international 24/7 channel for babies and toddlers has promoted Itamar Daube from creative director to VP of creative. He will direct the creative development of all network series and their cross-platform extensions, including mobile and web. Prior to joining BabyFirstTV in 2006, Daube gained experience in the visual communication industry by handling a broad variety of media and content platforms, from cellular games and web development, to TV animated series, advertising and branding.
Copyright Promotions Licensing Group (Munich, Germany, 49-899 610 900): Gerold Kolenbrander has stepped down as MD of CPLG Germany after 14 years with the company. Taking over the post is Joachim Knödler, who has served as director of sales and retail since joining in 2003. Prior to CPLG, Knödler worked at both Hasbro and The Marketing Store. And stepping into the role of sales and retail director is Sibylle Braune, who spent the last 10 years at Merchandising Media, where she was director of licensing and home entertainment. In her new posistion, Braune will also be handling the toy and games categories in order to extend licensing activities in these areas.
Fluid World (London, England, 44-759-053-7579): The official UK licensing agent for Sanrio has appointed former 4Kids senior licensing manager Sandra Arcan to the role of brand manager. Arcan’s primary focus is working with key retailers as well as developing new business across the Sanrio portfolio. During her time at 4Kids, Arcan managed EMEA licensing programs for key categories including fashion, accessories and home.
The Hub (Los Angeles, California, 818-531-3600): Discovery/Hasbro joint programming venture The Hub, set to launch this month, has bolstered its marketing team with the appointments of Michael Grover and Cindy Slocki. Grover has been named director of consumer marketing and is now responsible for developing and implementing consumer-facing marketing and promotional campaigns, working across all relevant company areas to leverage the assets of both the network and its related programming. Previously, he served as marketing manager for Cartoon Network. As director of integrated marketing solutions, Slocki is overseeing the development and execution of integrated sponsorships. Prior to joining The Hub, she served as a brand director at United Media, managing IP like Peanuts.
John Wayne Enterprises (Newport Beach, California, 949-631-8411): The exclusive owner and licensor of the John Wayne brand has appointed Lisa Streff to the newly created position of SVP of global partnerships and licensing, charging her with spearheading domestic L & M and partnership initiatives, and international expansion of the brand. Aside from growing two core licensing programs for adult and young adult male targets, Streff will lead the development and execution of a new John Wayne-branded licensing and entertainment program for kids. Streff has more than 15 years experience in the consumer products industry, most recently serving as SVP of US consumer products at Cookie Jar Entertainment, overseeing sales and retail development for properties such as Strawberry Shortcake and Caillou.
Looking Forward Productions (Kent, England, 44-158-021-1623): Hasbro licensing vet Richard Bickersteth has set up his own UK-based firm, which now offers professional and consulting services to the kids TV, licensing and TV game show industries, particularly in the area of music licensing. During his 15-year tenure at Hasbro, which started in 1995, Bickersteth moved from international licensing manager up to his latest post as VP of international entertainment and licensing. Bickersteth will serve as MD of the privately funded Looking Forward, which he says has a particular interest in the convergence of the TV and digital industries. The company’s co-director hails from the record business, which complements Bickersteth’s previous experience managing pop bands and the company’s focus on music rights.
PBS Kids Sprout (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 877-768-8411): The 24-hour US preschool destination available on TV, on demand and online, has restructured its marketing department with the promotions of Jim Multari to VP of marketing and research and Jenni Glenn to VP of communications and marketing. Multari and Glenn will collaborate and lead all marketing, communications and research strategy for the network in an effort to build awareness, distribution, viewership and loyalty for the Sprout brand. Multari adds consumer, affiliate and ad sales marketing to his existing duties, managing research and analytics for the network. Prior to joining Sprout in May 2006, Multari led the marketing and communications efforts for Research for Better Schools, an educational research nonprofit located in Center City, Philadelphia. In her expanded role, Glenn will add cause marketing, social media and parent-directed messaging on Sprout’s website to her existing duties of overseeing all external and internal communications and media relations.
Smarty Pants (Jonesborough, Tennessee, 203-847-5766): Youth and family research and consulting firm Smarty Pants has welcomed Patty Clark to its executive team as senior research director. Based in the firm’s Chicago office, Clark will help lead qualitative and quantitative departments on the continued growth of the company’s custom and syndicated research services. It is a role that taps her 15 years of experience leading strategic consumer research into youth and family demos. Most recently, Clark was research director of US consumer & business insights at McDonald’s, where she spent five years leading the QSR’s consumer research on kids, moms and the Happy Meal brand.
Total Nonstop Action Entertainment (Nashville, Tennessee, 615-244-5557): Former Sony Pictures Consumer Products EVP Al Ovadia has taken up the post of chief marketing officer for the wrestling-focused brand. TNA Entertainment produces flagship television show TNA iMPACT!, which is currently broadcast in more than 100 countries worldwide, as well as on pay-per-view, live event and home video platforms. Ovadia is devoting his energies to the growth of the TNA Wrestling brand as well as outbound licensing activity. (Jakks Pacific holds the master toy license for TNA at the moment.) Prior to his stint at Sony, where he co-managed Spider-Man’s film-based L&M program with Marvel, Ovadia worked as VP of licensing and merchandising at Twentieth Century Fox, concentrating on The Simpsons, and as VP of network creative services at NBC Television.