03.07.14 Good morning. It’s Friday, March 7, 2014, and this is your first early morning briefing.
Stu Snyder, president/COO of Turner’s Animation, Young Adults & Kids Media, will exit the company at the end of the month. His departure comes in the wake of a management shift at Turner, including the promotion in January of John Martin to chief executive of Turner and David Levy to president of the company. Tensions reportedly had been rising between Snyder and Levy. Snyder has been overseeing Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Boomerang and other youth brands since January 2008. The department recently announced a spate of expansions. Cartoon is launching a new portfolio of original digital content; Adult Swim, which just ended its most-watched year, is expanding its primetime hours beginning March 31; and Boomerang is being rebranded as a family co-viewing network and opening to ad sales for the first time. Levy yesterday praised Snyder in an email to his staff, and added, "This is an opportunity for fresh thinking that will involve and engage everyone in the division. Together, we’ll set a new course that energizes our brands." In his own email, Snyder wrote, "I have had the privilege of working and partnering with some of the most creative, talented and fun people in the business, who I will miss working with every day." He added, in typical fashion, "And remember, in the midst of the craziness, always to take a moment to celebrate the wins, which I know there will be many of in the future." Among Snyder’s other significant contributions to children’s media was the growth of Cartoon’s Stop Bullying: Speak Up campaign.
Fresh from its first-of-a-kind carriage deal with Dish, Disney is in talks with another satellite provider, DirecTV, which wants in on similar action. DirecTV wants to license rights to offer Disney’s broadcast and cable channels as part of an Internet-based product, Reuters reports. "The deal and terms are not unexpected as the Dish contract was the most recent in the Disney timeline to expire," DirecTV spokesman Darris Gringeri told the news service. "The DirecTV contract is up next and we’re in the process of working with Disney on a similar long-term agreement of our own."
PBS Kids has spun off a new album from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. Daniel’s Big Feelings, inspired by the series and available this week for download on iTunes. Song titles include "Use Your Words," "Same and Different" and "When You Feel Jealous."
Conan O’Brien is getting his MTV. The late-night talk show host has been tapped to host the 2014 MTV Movie Awards on Sunday, April 13 at 9p, broadcast live from Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. Among the PG-13 and under noms this year: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug.
Cynopsis Kids !magination + People Awards will be held June 11 in NYC, hosted by Inside Edition’s Megan Alexander and featuring a panel discussion of Animation Innovators. Don’t miss your chance to enter your programming, marketing campaign and/or your Kids People execs for recognition at our industry’s premiere annual event. Register to enter here: http://www.cynopsis.com/events/kids-awards.
Join CynKids on March 20 for the webinar The Exploding World of Kids Tablets and find out how to launch or extend your brand in the kids tablet world from experts including PBS Kids Digital’s Abby Jenkins, iStoryTime’s Graham Farrar, Sesame Workshop’s Mindy Brooks, and Scholastic’s Caroline Fraser at the CynKids’ webinar. Get more information and register here: http://www.cynopsis.com/webinars/new-ways-to-build-your-brand-with-kids-tablets/
There’s a new member of the Mixels crew. Cartoon Network and Lego are releasing the Calling All Mixels iOS app, a complement to the TV shorts, website and toys. The app combines exploration, combat and strategy, with the added twist of rescuing captured Mixels, discovering new lands and securing cubit supplies and creating fun mixes in more than 40 quests… And speaking of Cartoon, the network is springing ahead with a special daylight savings time-themed ep of Regular Show, premiering Monday, March 10 at 7:30p chock full of hijinks ensuing when Mordecai and Rigby attempt to reset all the clocks in the park for the time change.
Novel Entertainment is partnering with Digital Giving to provide unique designs from its kids brand Horrid Henry through its innovative T-Shirt Booth app. The app enables customers to create their own T-Shirts designs while generating funds for charity. For this promotion, Magic Breakfast, a charity dedicated to ensuring every child starts the day with the right breakfast as fuel for learning, is the beneficiary. Four original designs based on the Horrid Henry series, a hit in the UK, launched this week.
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Roaring 20s: Cartoon Network is celebrating its 20th year on-air in Asia Pacific with some other impressive numbers. The net’s the highest-rated international kids’ channel in seven markets, including India, Korea, Pakistan and Singapore, and has regional household distribution above the 75 million mark for the first time across 27 territories in 12 languages.
In a move to shore up finances, the BBC plans to shutter its youth-oriented BBC3 channel, converting the network to an online-only channel after 11 years. The network, the first to air British sitcom Gavin and Stacey, will require approval from the BBC Trust, according to The Guardian.
Guru Studio sold preschool series Justin Time to SVT (Sweden), RSI (Switzerland), HRT (Croatia) and Pixel (Ukraine). The show airs on Sprout in the US.
A slew of promotions at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Connie Hsu has been promoted to Senior Editor; Mary-Kate Gaudet has been promoted to Editor; Leslie Golden has been promoted to Publishing & Communications Associate; Patti Ann Harris has been promoted to Executive Art Director; Saho Fuji has been promoted to Associate Art Director; Liz Casal has been promoted to Senior Designer; Adrian Palacios has been promoted to Associate Director, Digital Marketing and Social Media; Mara Lander has been promoted to Associate Director, Brand Marketing; and Li Zhang has been promoted to Senior Designer, Marketing.
Genius Brands International elected former ABC Broadcast Group President Anthony D. "Tony" Thomopoulos to the company’s Board of Directors. Thomopoulos joins fellow board members Gray Davis, former Governor of California; Jeff Weiss, President/COO of American Greetings; Lynne Segall, Publisher/SVP of The Hollywood Reporter; and Bernard Cahill, co-founder of ROAR.
Answer to yesterday’s Trivia Question: Which digital game spun off a Rio-themed adaptation in 2011, marking the first time an existing game was specifically adapted to accommodate the release of a film? ANGRY BIRDS. Kudos to: Mara Anastas, Simon & Schuster, NY; Danna Castiglia, CBS, NY; Alison Hill, Turner Broadcasting; Keith Manzella, Eastwest Marketing, NY; Jane Pook, NY; Joe Swaney, Cartoon Network, Atlanta; Pat Brady, CESD, LA; Richard Quan, BSSP, SF; Samantha Wessel, LA.
Today’s Trivia Question: The characters of Green Lantern and Superman in The Lego Movie are voiced by Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, respectively. What other movie did the two actors team up for? (Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone.)
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