9 Story Media Group has named Angela Santomero to the newly created role of chief creative officer (CCO).
The appointment comes five months after 9 Story acquired New York-based children’s media company Out of the Blue, which was co-founded by Santomero. Reporting to president and CEO Vince Commisso, Santomero will head up 9 Story’s creative content strategy. Out of the Blue’s other co-founder, Samantha Freeman, exited the company in March.
In addition, Out of the Blue has been rebranded as 9 Story USA. According to a press release, the studio will be “the anchor of 9 Story’s creative development, formative research, and creative stewardship across current series.” It will continue to be supported by development staff and operations in Toronto and Dublin.
9 Story and Out of the Blue had collaborated on a number of series prior to the acquisition, including Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, which 9 Story produces and distributes internationally with The Fred Rogers Company, in association with Out of the Blue. As well, they partnered on the Amazon Studios series Creative Galaxy, produced by Out of the Blue and on which 9 Story is the animation partner.
Santomero’s other credits include Blue’s Clues (Nick Jr.), Super Why! (PBS Kids), Wishenpoof! (Amazon Studios) and Charlie’s Colorforms City (Netflix).
9 Story has expanded into a number of different territories and lines of business over the past three years. In August 2015, the Toronto company acquired Irish animation studio Brown Bag Films, which has offices in Ireland and England. Later in the year, 9 Story launched a new international distribution arm based out of Brown Bag’s animation studio in Dublin. It later rebranded its Toronto animation studio under the Brown Bag banner. Both Brown Bag and the company’s distribution arm, 9 Story Distribution International, operate under parent company 9 Story Media Group.
Last month, the company also launched a new dedicated consumer products division, called 9 Story Brands.