Judson new sheriff of Warners' toon town

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Lisa Judson has been named president of Warner Bros. Animation, where she will oversee the expansion of Warner Bros. Television Group's efforts in traditional and digital media.

Judson, who most recently was senior vp marketing at WBA's sister company AOL, will be responsible for all aspects of the animation division's development and production activities and have general oversight of its marketing, business affairs, legal and administrative teams.

She also will spearhead the division's efforts in digital areas including broadband and other new media. WBA is looking to beef up its presence on multiple platforms, and Judson said there are many opportunities available for WBA's existing properties as well as to invent new properties. She added that it's too early to talk about her specific plans, but said she's excited to explore the possibilities.

"With how kids are embracing new-media outlets, there are so many good opportunities for us to take our existing library out there in brand-new ways," she said. "We're going to be exploiting both traditional and new media and putting together a strategy for our existing library as well as for new characters and initiatives and projects. ... Our priority is where the kids are."

Judson also will collaborate with divisional teams across Warner Bros. Entertainment as Warners undergoes what is being called a "companywide revitalization of the studio's animated assets." Her duties include overseeing direct-to-consumer animated production. In this capacity, she will work with Warner Premiere, headed by president Diane Nelson, and work closely with Warner Bros. Consumer Products president Brad Globe and his senior team to take advantage of consumer product and animation cross-promotion opportunities.

At WBA, Judson replaces Sander Schwartz, who left in May to move into a production deal with the studio working on broadband and new-media animation. She will report to Warner Bros. Television Group president Bruce Rosenblum, who noted that Judson's 15 years of experience in children's TV and online marketing will "help us take our kids business to the next level."

"Today, it takes more than just compelling programming to break through in the highly saturated kids' arena," Rosenblum said. "With Lisa, we have an executive with a proven track record in innovative, attention-grabbing marketing as well as finely honed creative skills and a keen understanding of the kids marketplace. We expect that she will step up our activities in the television production, new-media and direct-to-consumer arenas."

Asked whether WBA also is planning theatrical features, Judson said, "Our first line of business is traditional and new-media outlets that we are going after, and I'm way too new in the job to know where we stand (in theatrical)."

At AOL, Judson was involved in marketing such initiatives as broadband network In2TV, a joint venture with Warner Bros. Entertainment, and the online reality game "Gold Rush," a partnership with CBS and Mark Burnett.

Before AOL, Judson spent nine years at Nickelodeon, most recently as senior vp programming and executive creative director.
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