Friday, October 12, 2012

Changing Executives

This past week I talked with a couple of Nick directors about this:

On Thursday, the embattled children's network witnessed two more departures of high-level executives: Paul Ward, a 22-year veteran of MTV Networks and head of prime-time acquisitions, and Pete Danielsen, executive vice president of programming. ...

Six weeks ago, the network pushed out its head of animation, Brown Johnson, the Nickelodeon executive most responsible for creating the hit "Dora the Explorer." ...

Nickelodeon is rolling out hundreds of hours of new programming ... The network is getting a boost from its reboot of the animated "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," which drew nearly 4 million viewers in its first outing. "Ninja Turtles" has improved Nickelodeon's ratings among young viewers by more than 15% in the Saturday morning time slot.

It's not just New York that's repealing and replacing execs. In Burbank, a clutch of executives have departed, to be replaced by new faces (among them, animation veteran David Steinberg.)

But as a Nick artist said to me:

Nick management has been a little uptight. They've seen their big lead in television slipping away. But I see it differently. Every studio makes stupid decisions. Nick let Adventure Time go, and now they're doing an imitation of The Regular Show. But that's nothing new. Years back Disney used to do shows that imitated Nick.

All the big animation companies go up and down. When they're down, they start asking artists for ideas for new shows. Doesn't happen as much when they're on top. Then, the doors are a lot more closed. ...


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