Nickelodeon Chief Creative Officer Named Development, Production President

1:09 PM PST 08/29/2012 by Lesley Goldberg

Russell Hicks, a 14-year veteran of the cable network, has been tapped president of content development and production for the Nickelodeon Group.

Russell Hicks has been tapped president of content development and production for the Nickelodeon Group.

The 14-year veteran of the youth-themed cabler, who has been chief creative officer since 2008, will now oversee the company's live-action, animation development and production teams for all of Nick's content platforms and be based in the network's Burbank and Santa Monica offices.

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"Russell has been one of the driving forces behind the Nickelodeon brand,” said Nickelodeon Group president Cyma Zarghami, to whom he will report. "As we continue our ambitious evolution of Nickelodeon, Russell will ensure that our rich and diversified development slate, as well as our new and established producing partners, will all serve our creative vision for the network and deliver for our audiences. As the new development season begins, this is the perfect moment for Russell to take the helm.”

As part of Hicks' promotion, Nick will shuffle its executive ranks. Margie Cohn will now serve as president of content development at Nickelodeon and Paula Kaplan will be executive vp current series. Terri Weiss will continue on as exec vp Nickelodeon preschool development and production; Alison Dexter as exec vp Nickelodeon Productions; Rich Magallanes as senior vp animation and current series; and Keith Dawkins as senior vp and GM at Nickelodeon's Nick Jr., Nicktoons and Teen Nick channels. They will all report to Hicks.

The move comes shortly after Nickelodeon announced an ambitious development slate that features more than a dozen live-action, animation and TV movie projects including two spinoff pilots, Sam & Cat and Gibby featuring characters from its signature series iCarly and Victorious.

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During Hicks' tenure with the network, he led product development and creative positioning of its brands and properties, leading a rebranding in 2009 that included reimagining Nickelodeon's logo.

As part of the executive shuffle, Brown Johnson will depart her post as president of animation to pursue creative endeavors. "Brown’s contributions to Nickelodeon are many, including being the key architect behind our preschool leadership,” Zarghami said. "She leaves an indelible impact on generations of kids for which we will always be incredibly grateful.”

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit

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