Kids TV vet Sarah Muller is set to leave her head of children’s position at Viacom-owned Channel 5 after accepting a VP position at Sony Pictures Television Networks (SPTN), where she will helm its growing UK children’s and youth portfolio.
Beginning this April, Muller will lead SPTN’s linear and AVOD kids brands including POP, Tiny Pop, POP MAX and recently launched AVOD service POP FUN, alongside SPTN’s music channel portfolio. She will report directly to Kate Marsh, SPTN’s EVP for Western Europe and International Networks.
Ex-CiTV head Jamila Metran has been serving as acting head of Sony’s children’s channels in Western Europe since last year, covering for Francesca Newington’s maternity leave. Newington is not returning to Sony.
A longtime BBC Children’s exec, Muller joined Channel 5 in November 2016, stepping into the role previously held by Jessica Symons. During her tenure, Muller was responsible for commissioning and acquiring kids programming for the channel. She also oversaw the redesign of its popular children’s block, Milkshake.
Prior to Channel 5, Muller spent a decade at the BBC moving from head of acquisitions for CBBC to creative director, where she developed hit programs including Danger Mouse, Strange Hill High, Harriet’s Army, Wolfblood, The Dumping Ground and Just William.
The hire follows the December launch of SPTN’s new dedicated kids app POP FUN. Aimed for kids ages three to 10, the service provides shows, games, galleries and competitions from all three of Sony’s UK kids networks.
In other recent SPTV kids activity, free-to-air Tiny Pop acquired Animaccord’s hit preschool series Masha and the Bear, which debuted in December.