Len Cochrane, Pioneer of Canadian Kids TV, Dies at 71
Cochrane brought American cartoons like 'Thundercats,' 'Pink Panther' and 'Scooby Doo' to Canada, along with TBS' Cartoon Network.
Len Cochrane, Canada's biggest impresario of kids TV, died Tuesday. He was 71.
Canadian broadcaster Corus Entertainment confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that Cochrane died Tuesday morning, with no word on the cause of death. Born in 1946, he retired from Corus in January 2014 as president of Teletoon Canada, the country's cable kids channel that Cochrane launched on Oct. 21, 1997.
Early Teletoon offerings included classic Cartoon Network titles like Scooby Doo, The Jetsons and Cow and Chicken. Turner Broadcasting Systems returned the favor by opening the way for Teletoon to launch Cartoon Network in Canada in 2012 via a programming and branding deal.
Teletoon also brought to Canada classic American cartoons like Thundercats, G.I. Joe, Transformers, Jonny Quest, Flash Gordon and The Avengers.
"Len had a terrific career and his experience, knowledge and genuine love for what he did inspired many," Corus president and CEO Doug Murphy said in an internal email to company employees that was obtained by THR.
Cochrane eventually ran five Canadian kids cable channels, including Teletoon Retro and Cartoon Network Canada. His career started in 1983 at Canadian Satellite Communications Inc., as western regional manager. Cochrane was named president of Family Channel in 1990, which launched Teletoon in 1997.