Toronto, Canada-based production company Shaftesbury, which has been behind such kids series as Connor Undercover and Life with Derek, is expanding into the US, with former Cookie Jar Entertainment execs Tom Mazza and Maggie Murphy leading the charge.
Mazza (pictured) and Murphy will be based out of the new LA office effective September 1. They will jointly oversee the division as co-heads, reporting directly to Christina Jennings, chairman and CEO of Shaftesbury.
The company says the establishment of a local presence in LA falls in line with its natural growth and both executives who have been tapped to lead the office hold extensive roots in the US creative community and strong relationships with American broadcasters.
Prior to his time as EVP and head of worldwide television at Cookie Jar, Mazza co-founded the branded entertainment company Madison Road Entertainment (MRE). He is also a 12-year veteran of Paramount Networks Television, where he served as EVP of creative affairs and was responsible for primetime television development as well as Paramount’s roster of writers and on-air talent.
Murphy, prior to her stint as SVP of development at Cookie Jar, served as president for Kiefer Sutherland’s Eastside Entertainment and oversaw comedy and drama development.
The news comes as Shaftesbury also announced the appointment of Jay Switzer, former president and CEO of Canadian broadcaster CHUM Limited, to its board of directors, effective immediately.