The kids entertainment industry has seen a lot of changes since I started here in 2003. Just think, the iPod was in its toddlerhood, while the iPhone revolution was just a glimmer in Steve Jobs’s eye. YouTube did not yet exist, and Netflix was focused on its subscription DVD service. Oh, and in the US, terrestrial broadcasters like ABC, CBS and NBC still had Saturday morning cartoons. So to say that the industry has undergone a sea-change in the last 14 years may be a bit of an understatement.
On a personal level, there has also been much change. I started at Kidscreen as a senior writer, frantically trying to familiarize myself with the ins, outs and singularly unique aspects of the consumer products business. By 2009, I had become editor, and then in 2013, I added oversight of Kidscreen Summit’s event programming to my remit.
Moreover, I saw the arrival of my niece, Charlotte, and her twin brothers Gavin and Owen. And thanks to Kidscreen, I could talk fluently with them about everything from Backyardigans to Thor: Ragnarok—confirming my status as the “cool” aunt. (Hey, I will take what I can get!)
At this point, you’re likely asking, “What are you prattling on about, Lana?” Well, this is perhaps the most bittersweet editorial I’ve written in my 14-year tenure at Kidscreen. At the beginning of March, I will be taking on a new role in marketing and communications at growing Toronto-based agency ChizComm. I am looking forward to the new challenges before me, but am also ecstatic that I will still be part of this industry. After all these years, and with the relationships I’ve forged with people around the globe—not to mention the Muppets I’ve met (Cookie, I still love you best)—I cannot imagine walking away from this business. Fortunately, I won’t have to.
Finally, I want to recognize the entire Kidscreen team—Jocelyn, Myles, Wendy, Jeremy, Elizabeth, Alexandra, Nelson and Hayley—for the fantastic work they do and for making the process of publishing Kidscreen and producing its related events so much fun. I will miss them very much. But as an avid Kidscreen reader, I look forward to seeing how they’ll keep it on top of the trade heap, as the kids business enters the next stage in its evolution—how far off can holodecks featuring kids’ favorite characters be at this point, really?