Fourteen-year Nickelodeon veteran Russell Hicks has been named to the brand new position of president of content development and production for the Nickelodeon Group, while Brown Johnson, long-time president of Nick Animation exits the company.
In his new position, Hicks, who served as Nickelodeon’s CCO since 2008, will continue to report to Nickelodeon Group president Cyma Zarghami.
Based at Nickelodeon’s Burbank and Santa Monica, California, offices, he will be tasked with leading the company’s live-action, animation development and production teams for all of the company’s content platforms.
Executives now reporting to Hicks include Margie Cohn, who has been promoted to the new Nickelodeon role of president of content development for live-action, animation and digital; Paula Kaplan, now EVP of current series; Teri Weiss, EVP of Nickelodeon preschool development and production; Alison Dexter, EVP of Nickelodeon Productions; Rich Magallanes, SVP of animation, current series; and Keith Dawkins, SVP and GM for Nickelodeon’s Nick Jr., Nicktoons and TeenNick channels.
The appointment comes as Nickelodeon recently ramped up its TV offerings for this fall and into 2013 by greenlighting 14 new projects covering live-action, animation and TV movies.
As Nickelodeon’s CCO, Hicks oversaw all of Nickelodeon creative, on-air promotions, consumer products, brand and advertising divisions. Prior to working at Nickelodeon, he served as VP of marketing for Cartoon Network/Turner brands for Warner Brothers.
Meanwhile, Nick’s president of animation since 2008, Brown Johnson, will be exiting her role to pursue personal creative endeavors. During her time in the position, Johnson led the kidsnet’s partnerships with DreamWorks Animation SKG as well as the new, CG-animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series. She also led Nickelodeon’s preschool programming, including Blue’s Clues and Dora the Explorer, for more than two decades.