Warner Bros. has named Tom Ascheim its president of global kids, young adults and classics. The former president of Disney-owned tweencaster Freeform will report to Warner Bros. CEO Ann Sarnoff, beginning this summer.
Ascheim is tasked with leading the global strategy for Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Adult Swim, as well as managing the studios of Cartoon Network and Warner Bros. Animation in LA and having global responsibility for the Turner Classic Movies channel. His division has distribution in 192 countries around the world, with networks in 500 million homes in more than 65 countries in 31 languages.
Part of his new role will be to work collaboratively with his colleagues at Warner Bros. and the WarnerMedia global distribution and advertising sales team to build, enhance and drive ratings for the brand.
The position has been up in the air for well over a year now. In March 2019, Kevin Tsujihara, at the time Warner Bros.’ CEO, took on the new global kids and young adults business when AT&T and Time Warner merged and formed WarnerMedia. Shortly after, several misconduct allegations surfaced and Tsujihara stepped down. Then interim leadership was put in place with Peter Roth adding the kids and young adults group to his remit until a new CEO was found. Ann Sarnoff was then appointed the CEO of Warner Bros. in late June and her remit included the kids and YA brands, at the time.
Ascheim has served as president of of Freeform since 2013, where he oversaw original programming and acquisitions, franchise management, marketing, sales and operations and responsibility for the overall strategic and creative direction of the channel. In 2016, he led the network through a rebrand, shifting the focus of ABC Family to Freeform’s YA audience. He has also served as EVP and GM of Nickelodeon Television, and Nickelodeon Digital TV Networks.
Prior to Freeform, he served as the chief strategy office at Sesame Workshop and EVP of Sesame Learning. And, speaking of Sesame, WarnerMedia is going to air new half-hour special Sesame Street: Elmo’s Playdate simultaneously across HBO, HBO Latino, TBS, TNT, truTV, Cartoon Network and Boomerang on April 14 as part of Sesame Workshop’s Caring for Each other initiative to help kids around the world feel connected in a time of uncertainty.