After serving two years as general manager of NBCU-owned Universal Kids, Deirdre Brennan has left the US children’s channel following an executive reorg.
According to an NBCU representative, NBCU’s president of lifestyle networks Frances Berwick, to whom Brennan reported, will take on her responsibilities.
The former VP of content at Canada’s Corus Kids joined Universal Kids in January 2017 to helm NBCU-owned preschool net Sprout. Later that year, the New York-based net rebranded as Universal Kids to offer dedicated primetime programming for older kids and families for the first time, along with a daily 15-hour block of preschool content.
As GM, Brennan was tasked with overseeing all aspects of Universal Kid’s linear and digital programming, marketing, business strategy and performance. She led the greenlight process and worked closely with the international creative community to bolster the network’s relationships with top talent, writers and showrunners. She also worked alongside all NBCUniversal businesses, including Universal Brand Development, Universal Cable Productions and DreamWorks, to strengthen and grow the company’s overall kids strategy.
During her time at the channel, Brennan commissioned unscripted shows including Top Chef Junior and American Ninja Warrior Junior, as well as tween makeover series Get Out of My Room and live-action scripted comedy Greenfields.
Under the new structure, Universal Kids’ current senior leadership team includes SVP of content Karen Miller, who joined in June 2018 after serving as VP of worldwide programming strategy, acquisitions and co-productions for Disney Channels Worldwide; senior director of content strategy and acquisitions Rick Clodfelter; and senior director of development, Kristofer Updike.
Other recent departures include senior VP of programming and development, Amy Friedman, and VP of program strategy and acquisitions, Dea Connick Perez.
Prior to Corus, Brennan was head of Children’s Television, ABC TV, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, where she led programming, acquisitions and commissioning across ABC KIDS, ABC3 and ABC Children’s online and mobile offerings. She was also previously director of content, Australia & New Zealand for BBC Worldwide and served as director of programming at Nickelodeon Australia.