DHX Media is bringing its international consumer products licensing efforts under one umbrella by launching DHX Brands.
The Halifax, Canada-based kids TV producer has Peter Byrne adding EVP of DHX Brands to his existing role as CEO of CPLG (DHX Media’s subsidiary licensing agency business), as the company looks to mine its library and current slate for properties with consumer products potential.
With DHX’s purchase of Wild Brain, producer of preschool hit Yo Gabba Gabba!, followed by the acquisition of Ragdoll (creator of TV and consumer products successes Teletubbies and In the Night Garden) last September, it was time to integrate the brands under one umbrella, says Byrne. “Instead of having three sales and management teams, we now have one group that can focus on DHX’s consumer products priorities going forward. We’re aligning for growth and expansion.”
Byrne will initially be backed by a UK-based team, as Tor Bushell takes on the role of VP of brand management and Paul Keech expands his own role to VP of creative services, both at DHX Brands. Also, Tom Roe, currently at CPLG, is transitioning over to DHX Brands as commercial director and will be charged with managing and appointing third-party licensing agents.
“But we will need some expansion,” adds Byrne. He’s looking to build out the core brand-management teams and intends to hire for DHX Brands’ Toronto and L.A. operations.
Essentially, DHX Brands will identify and select existing and upcoming properties in DHX’s portfolio that lend themselves to consumer products programs and will set brand direction and plans, while CPLG will be appointed as DHX Brands’ licensing agent to execute plans in territories where it currently has offices, says Byrne. Right now, CPLG has offices across Europe, including the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Benelux and Spain. It also opened a North American office in L.A. last month, which is headed up by Ted Larkin.
In territories not covered by CPLG, such as Australia and Asia, DHX Brands will look to appoint agents. At the moment, there are no plans to establish independent DHX Brands offices in non-CPLG territories.
Byrne says DHX Brands’ immediate focus will be on building out the existing global licensing programs of its core infant/preschool-focused properties – Yo Gabba Gabba!, In the Night Garden, Teletubbies and Caillou. There are also plans to develop wholly new licensing programs based on select properties from DHX’s development slate.
With files from Lana Castleman