After a two-year stint in Burbank as SVP of development for Nickelodeon Preschool, ex-Spin Master Entertainment VP and executive producer Jennifer Dodge is heading back to her former employer’s film and television division in the newly created role of EVP.
In her new position effective this week, Dodge will develop and launch strategies to further position both Toronto, Canada-based Spin Master and its entertainment division for ongoing growth and worldwide success. She will also lead day-to-day operations of the entertainment division that include content production, the expansion of current IPs like Paw Patrol and Rusty Rivets across platforms, and the development of new global entertainment properties.
Dodge will remain in L.A. and report directly to Spin Master’s co-CEO and co-founder, Ronnen Harary.
Laura Clunie, who replaced Dodge in 2015 when she left for Nickelodeon, will continue in her Toronto-based role as VP of entertainment. Clunie oversees creative on development and production, allowing Dodge to focus on the division’s creative and business strategies.
According to Dodge, the rest of Spin Master’s current management team will also remain in their roles in the Toronto office.
“Toni Stevens continues as head of production, overseeing the operation of current series, and Porsha Gauthier, VP of business affairs and operations, will be working with me on the business side,” Dodge tells Kidscreen. “Creating successful global entertainment properties is a key growth strategy for Spin Master, and this team has already laid the groundwork to make this happen. We have a proven approach to developing properties, and I look forward to rejoining the team and continuing that success.”
During her previous six years as Spin Master Entertainment’s VP and executive producer, Dodge was responsible for all content and strategies related to the company’s entertainment division, including the creation, acquisition, development, financing, production and distribution of television series, feature films and web content based on currently owned and newly created IPs.
She also helped lead Spin Master’s foray into preschool with its hit series PAW Patrol (Nickeldeon), and co-created and executive produced the preschool show Little Charmers, a co-production with Nelvana for Treehouse in Canada and Nick Jr. worldwide.
Prior to joining Spin Master in 2009, Dodge served as VP of distribution and sales operations for Cookie Jar Entertainment (now part of DHX Media), and as director of production and development for Decode Entertainment (DHX Media).
While at Nickelodeon, Dodge spearheaded the development of all original content for Nickelodeon Preschool’s programming block and the Nick Jr. channel, and also oversaw the development of in-house talent, in tandem with discovering and nurturing new artists and writers.
“My two years at Nickelodeon were incredible and it was my honor to work with everyone in that organization, especially the Nick Preschool team. I look forward to continuing those relationships as I move back to the strategic partnership side of the table,” says Dodge. “Spin Master was looking for someone to take on a broad and strategic role within the organization, over a division that has seen exponential growth in the past two years, and for me, that was a great career opportunity. Of course, the idea of taking PAW Patrol to even greater heights was also very compelling, both personally and professionally.”
Dodge says her short- and long-term goals will include both film and television projects.
“One of my most exciting short-term goals is around Spin Master’s foray into the feature film world. From a long-term perspective, as part of our growth plan, Spin Master Entertainment will be premiering at least three new shows over the next two years, as well as continuing production on new and exciting themes for PAW Patrol and our most recent launch, Rusty Rivets. We will also look at evolving PAW Patrol as an evergreen property, making it just as exciting and relevant for a whole new generation of children,” she says.