Nickelodeon has filled the vacuum in its top animation ranks, expanding the nick responsibilities of James Stephenson who has been named to the newly created position of SVP, Animation and Games. He will be adding animation production and development to his current duties of digital content creation. Stephenson will be based at Nickelodeon’s animation studio in Burbank, Calif., reporting to Russell Hicks, President, Content Development and Production, Nickelodeon Group.
The promotion follows the March company-wide Viacom layoffs, which saw three top Nickelodeon animation executives depart: Rich Magallanes, SVP, current series; Jenna Boyd, SVP, animation development; and Jill Sanford, VP, animation development.
When you're a studio that's fallen from the high perch of Numero Uno, you at some point shake things up.
Nickelodeon is long past that point.
They've swept out three Vice Presidents a few months ago. And they were lopping off management heads long before that. But desperate times require desperate measures.
We wish Mr. Stephenson all the best in his new position. And hope that his neck is long spared the "It's Not Personal, It's Business" chopping block.