Cartoon Net GM resigns over Boston fiasco


NEW YORK -- Cartoon Network general manager Jim Samples resigned Friday, taking responsibility for the marketing fiasco that put the city of Boston on edge two weeks ago and cost Turner Broadcasting System $2 million.

Until a new executive vp/gm is named, Cartoon Network executives will report to Turner Entertainment Group President Mark Lazarus.

Samples is apparently the only Turner executive to leave as a result of the incident, when a guerrilla marketing campaign for "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" done by Adult Swim and Interference Inc. went awry and led to a terror alert. Turner said Friday that no one else has been fired or resigned, and wouldn't be.

"I deeply regret the negative publicity and expense caused to our company as a result of this campaign," Samples wrote to employees in an email Friday. "As general manager of Cartoon Network, I feel compelled to step down, effective immediately, in recognition of the gravity of the situation that occurred under my watch."

In another email, Lazarus thanked Samples and said he had moved Cartoon Network online, nurtured Adult Swim into the ratings success that it has become and "inspired cause-marketing initiatives that have made a difference in countless kids' lives."

Samples was named to the post in August 2001 after serving as general manager of Cartoon Network Online. He had also been general manager/senior vp of TNT and Cartoon Network Latin America and was an international financier at NationsBank.