Cartoon Network (Atlanta, Georgia, 404-827-1500): Cartoon Network has promoted Michael Ouweleen to the role of SVP and group creative director for its newly reorganized Creative Group. Ouweleen will continue to be based in Atlanta and oversee the new division, which combines on-air and off-channel creative departments for Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Boomerang. Among his new responsibilities is spearheading the development of creative materials for Cartoon Network’s off-channel needs, including print advertising, show launch kits, sales materials, PR materials, premiums and event environments. He will also continue to supervise all on-air promotions, program franchise packaging and sponsored promos for both Cartoon Network and Boomerang, and manage the development of on-air spots for the nets’ licensed promotion partners. He was most recently SVP and creative director, on-air for Cartoon Network. Jacob Escobedo has also been upped to VP of creative design for the Creative Group. Escobedo now oversees all print, event and collateral design for Adult Swim, Boomerang and Cartoon Network, on top of all broadcast design for Cartoon and Boomerang. He is a 10-year Cartoon Network vet and previously served as a marketing and advertising designer in the trade creative group.
Hasbro (Providence, Rhode Island, 401-431-8222): The toyco has appointed former Disney exec James Walker to the role of VP of brand licensing, Europe, where he will lead the company’s EMEA licensing initiatives and align brands with global companies and licensees. Walker will be based at Hasbro’s London office and will report directly to Simon Waters, Hasbro SVP of global licensing. Walker joins Hasbro from The Walt Disney Company, where he most recently held the position of European infant director and was also the UK Home director and member of the Signature Europe and Emerging Markets lifestyle brand team.
Nickelodeon (New York, New York, 212-846-8018): The net has upped Keiren Fisher to SVP of series production, West Coast. Fisher, whose 25 years of production experience spans broadcast, cable, pay-per-view, home video and live events, will now oversee production of Nick live-action series produced in L.A. and manage the day-to-day operations of the company’s production facilities at Nick on Sunset and Paramount Studios. Most recently VP of production, Fisher will continue to supervise production activities for the net’s comedy series iCarly, as well as its companion website iCarly.com, along with Big Time Rush, Victorious and True Jackson VP. Fisher also oversees production on Nick preschool series The Fresh Beat Band and the multiple pilots shot for the network in L.A.
Scholastic (New York, New York, 212-343-6100): The children’s publishing, education and media company has named Lori Benton as VP and publisher of its Trade Publishing division. Starting this month, Benton will oversee direction of the publishing program for all imprints of the division. She was most recently the GM and publisher of the fiction division of Minnesota-based Capstone Publishers and is currently chairman of the board of directors for Every Child a Reader, the non-profit foundation of The Children’s Book Council dedicated to promoting the importance of reading among America’s youth.
Sesame Workshop (New York, New York, 212-595-3456): Laura Smith and Palak Solanki have joined Sesame Workshop as VP of formal learning and VP of business planning and analysis, respectively. As VP of formal learning, Smith will help the Workshop provide a transformative educational experience for preschoolers in formal classrooms and centers across the US using Sesame Street’s assets. Her responsibilities include conducting research and analysis to inform strategic direction, coordinating a cross-functional project team to design and launch key programs and securing internal and external support and investment from audiences. Previously, Smith served as assistant commissioner for External Partnerships and Research with the New York State Department of Education. As VP of business planning and analysis, Solanki is responsible for identifying and developing long-term business opportunities and evaluating potential acquisitions and other investments. Facilitating company-wide strategic planning activities and conducting business analysis is also part of her new remit. She most recently served as the director of digital sales strategy and business development at MTV Networks.
Shine Group (London, England, 44-207-985-7000): The UK-based indie prodco has appointed former News International, HIT Entertainment and Chorion exec Lori Heiss to the newly created position of global brand manager. Starting this month, Heiss will be looking after formulating the ongoing global strategy for Shine Group’s proprietary international brands, with a particular focus on the MasterChef brand. Previously senior director of international marketing at HIT Entertainment, Heiss headed up marketing and brand strategy for territories including the UK, EMEA, Asia and Australia and oversaw preschool brands including Thomas & Friends, Bob the Builder and Barney. Prior to that, she was head of marketing, PR and product development at Chorion. Most recently, Heiss headed entertainment, retail and publishing partnerships at News International.