Cartoon Net exec Davidson dies at 38


Cartoon Network senior executive Jennifer Davidson, one of the first employees hired by the channel, has died of a sudden illness at a hospital near her home in Atlanta. She was 38.

Davidson, who died unexpectedly Saturday morning, had been senior vp programming and scheduling at Cartoon since September, where she was responsible for overseeing the day-to-day scheduling and strategic positioning of on-air content for Cartoon and Boomerang as well as on-air promotion for Adult Swim.

Viewing services are being held from 6-9 p.m. Tuesday at the Sandy Springs Funeral Home in Sandy Springs, Ga. The funeral is scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday at Buckhead Church in Atlanta.

"We have lost a shining star, not only at Cartoon Network but within our industry," said Stuart Snyder, executive vp and COO at Turner Broadcasting System Inc.'s Animation, Young Adults and Kids Media group.

Davidson was born in Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1969. She graduated from Virginia Tech with a bachelor of arts degree in broadcast communications in 1991.

She joined Cartoon in 1992 as production/operations assistant and operations coordinator/manager before working her way up through the ranks. Davidson also served as vp and executive producer for on-air promotion and operations and vp on-air promotion, production and operations, in which capacity she executive produced the launch of the classic-cartoon channel Boomerang.

She later became senior vp marketing, ad trade, consumer products trade and strategic operations at Cartoon and sister network Adult Swim and was part of the team that in 2001 launched Adult Swim as a separate entertainment service targeted toward young adults.

During her career, Davidson won several industry and marketing awards, including a 2000 BDA Gold Award for total package design (Boomerang). This year, she was named as a 2007-08 Betsy Magness Leadership Fellow.

Davidson is survived by her husband, John; three young children, Mitchell (7), Oliver (5) and Harper (2); her parents, John and Bobbie Stitt; two sisters; and a brother.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to one of three organizations the Davidsons have actively supported: FRAXA, the Fragile X Research Foundation, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and BrightPoint for Children.