'Teletubbies' Owner DHX Media Names Ex-Marvel Head Eric Ellenbogen CEO

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The U.S. industry veteran replaces company founder Michael Donovan who will remain on the board.

Teletubbies owner DHX Media has named former Marvel Enterprises president and CEO Eric Ellenbogen as CEO, replacing company founder Michael Donovan.

DHX Media, which also has the Peanuts, Strawberry Shortcake, Caillou and Inspector Gadget characters in its stable, earlier failed to secure a possible sale of the company or a merger amid a sagging stock price. The Canadian kids content producer and distributor last April appointed Ellenbogen as a senior adviser through to the end of 2019 and gave him a seat on the board.

"Given his broad perspective and decades of relevant industry experience and success, we are confident that Eric will be able to move the company forward from the get-go as CEO," said Donald Wright, non-executive chair of DHX Media. "We thank Michael for his many years of leadership and vision."

Donovan has also stepped down as executive chair, but will continue to serve on the board as founding chair. DHX last year sold a minority stake in its Peanuts brand to Sony Music Entertainment for $237 million to help reduce its debt load after a string of pricey acquisitions.

Those included picking up Canadian animation giant Cookie Jar Entertainment and Teletubbies owner Ragdoll as part of its expansion into the global kids TV market.

Ellenbogen brings 30 years of experience running entertainment companies to the table. The American executive was president and CEO of Marvel Enterprises before that company was acquired by Disney. Ellenbogen also served as president of Broadway Video Entertainment, Lorne Michaels' production and distribution company, and as president of Golden Books Family Entertainment.

He co-founded Classic Media in 2000 before it was acquired by DreamWorks Animation in 2012 and Ellenbogen became co-head of DreamWorks Classics and DreamWorks International Television. Following DreamWorks' sale to NBCUniversal, Ellenbogen became co-president of Classic Media, which was restarted as a business unit of NBCUniversal.