TBS kids are alright for Snyder

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Turner Broadcasting System Inc. has restructured its kids- and young adults-targeted cable networks, digital properties and entertainment businesses under one umbrella and tapped industry veteran Stuart Snyder to head the division.

Snyder — who was senior vp and GM of GameTap, Turner's broadband games network — will take on the title of executive vp and COO of animation, young adults and kids media.

He will oversee cable channels Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Adult Swim; digital businesses CartoonNetwork.com, AdultSwim.com, Toonami Jetstream, Cartoon Network Video, GameTap and Super Deluxe; and two animation production facilities, Cartoon Network Studios in Burbank and Williams Street Studios in Atlanta.

Snyder also will work closely with Turner Broadcasting System International on programming strategies for Cartoon Network Asia Pacific, Cartoon Network Europe, Cartoon Network Latin America & Caribbean and Cartoon Network Japan.

Snyder became head of GameTap in 2005. He previously had been with Turner Broadcasting as head of its home entertainment division before leaving to hold positions including president and CEO of production/ distribution company Cinar Corp., president and COO of World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. and president of USA Home Entertainment.

In taking the new role, Snyder assumes the responsibilities held by Jim Samples, who resigned as Cartoon Network GM in February after a marketing fiasco related to Adult Swim's "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" put the city of Boston on edge and cost Turner Broadcasting System $2 million. Snyder is taking on a broader role than Samples held, however.

Snyder is based in Atlanta at Turner's Techwood entertainment campus and reports to Turner Entertainment Group president Mark Lazarus, who said one of the intentions behind the realignment of the kids and young-adult brands is to more aggressively focus on younger viewers.

"We saw that we had the ability and opportunity to serve two audiences under one division in a way that gave us significant resources and significant scale," he said. "It's really about focusing on two audiences: kids and young adults. Our goal is to touch their hearts and minds and eyeballs and fingertips across a variety of complementary content."

Snyder said it's too early to discuss specific strategy but said his first priority is to get to know the businesses and employees even better.

"Then I'll be working with the teams on continuing to do what they're doing right and where the opportunities are to grow each business and collectively grow our share of the marketplace in kids and young adults," he said.
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