Fred Rogers Productions has hired former Schell Games exec Christopher Arnold as its chief operating officer, responsible for managing daily operations and providing day-to-day leadership for the prodco’s team. Arnold started in the position in September and reports directly to Fred Rogers president and CEO Paul Siefken.
In his new role, Arnold will oversee all operations for the prodco, including leading and managing the organization’s legal and business affairs, licensing and merchandising, finance, technology and human resources departments. He succeeds long-time company COO Kevin Morrison, who retired from the role (Morrison had been at the prodco since 2006),
Prior to joining Fred Rogers, Arnold was the general counsel and VP of human resources for Pittsburgh-based game developer Schell Games (Daniel Tiger’s Stop & Go Potty, which was developed in conjunction with Fred Rogers and PBS KIDS), where he developed relationships with The Walt Disney Company, The LEGO Group, Google and Facebook. Before Schell, he served as assistant operations counsel for specialty pharmaceutical company Mylan, and the general counsel and director of human resources for online talent marketplace Guru.com.
In 2017, Fred Rogers was awarded a US$3-million grant over three years from The Heinz Endowments to fund new media content and support the creation of new programming. Since then Fred Rogers has been busy growing out its business in different categories. The prodco launched the first touring live show based on its animated kids series Peg + Cat this past February and is launching its Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live! Neighbor Day live show in 2020. The prodco is also producing a third season of its popular live-action series Odd Squad with Toronto’s Sinking Ship Entertainment, set to air on PBS KIDS in winter 2020.