|Executive Vice President, Creative Strategy, Nickelodeon Group||ANNE MULLEN|
Anne Mullen is Executive Vice President of Creative Strategy, for Nickelodeon Group. Based in New York, she oversees strategy and leads the creative teams responsible for developing brand image, promotion, design and advertising for Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Nick Jr., Nicktoons and TeenNick. Additionally she leads the promo planning and strategy team for Nickelodeon.
Previously, as Senior Vice President of Creative Strategy at Nickelodeon, Mullen oversaw the development and execution of all on-air promotion and brand communications for network redesigns, live-action and animated show launches and the network’s signature annual events, including Kids’ Choice Awards and Worldwide Day of Play. She also spearheaded the repositioning and redesign of Nick Jr. in 2011, including the creation of the tagline, “The Smart Place to Play”.
In 2009, as Nickelodeon’s Vice President of Preschool Brand Creative, Mullen worked in tandem with the senior creative team to develop and execute a strategy to unify the network’s channels under the single, globally recognized Nickelodeon brand.
Under her leadership, Nickelodeon creative teams have won several Emmys®, PromaxBDA and One Show awards, among others, in categories that include promotion, design, illustration, public service and more.
Prior to joining Nickelodeon in 2005, Mullen served as Director of Original Programming and Production at Sundance Channel where she oversaw its creative strategy and supervised the production and creative teams for the channel’s content development. She also served as Entertainment and Media, Client Partner at Razorfish where she led the brand strategy team for domestic and international cable and broadcast clients.
|PRESIDENT, VIACOM KIDS AND FAMILY GROUP||CYMA ZARGHAMI||Cyma Zarghami is the President of Viacom Inc’s (VIA.A and VIA.B) Kids’ and Family Group, a portfolio of content brands that includes all of the linear, online, mobile and consumer products divisions of Nickelodeon, TV Land and CMT. Based in New York, she reports to Philippe Dauman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Viacom.
Ms. Zarghami is a near 30-year veteran at Viacom. She began her career at Nickelodeon in 1985, and over the years rose through the company ranks. She was named President of the Nickelodeon Group in 2006, assuming oversight for all of the company’s creative and business operations. Now in its 36th year, Nickelodeon is the world’s most widely distributed kids' channel, with 50 channels reaching more than 350 million people in 25 languages.
In February, 2015, Viacom President and Chief Executive Officer Philippe Dauman expanded Ms. Zarghami’s responsibilities to include oversight of TV Land and CMT, naming her President of the newly-formed Viacom Kids’ and Family Group.
During her years leading Nickelodeon, Ms. Zarghami has nurtured the continued growth and expansion of the Nickelodeon brand in television and beyond while ensuring it has remained true to its primary mission of serving and being inclusive of all kids.
Under her leadership, the network has solidified its commitment to researching the newest generation of kids, post-millennials, and is super-serving them on all platforms. In February 2013, Nickelodeon launched the Nick App, a branded mobile experience that allows kids to interact with Nick in unprecedented ways, offering them instant and on-demand access to more than 2,000 pieces of Nickelodeon-themed content; and new initiatives in sketch comedy to develop the next generation of Nickelodeon live action stars. To date, the Emmy® Award-winning Nick App has over 13 million installs. Additionally, Nickelodeon launched two Apps for preschoolers with the Nick Jr. App, and the just-announced Noggin subscription service.
Nickelodeon continues to create gold-standard content for all kids. In preschool, Nickelodeon leads with educational shows including Dora the Explorer, Bubble Guppies, Peter Rabbit, PAW Patrol and its newest additions Wallykazam! and Dora and Friends: Into the City! Most recently, Nickelodeon premiered Blaze and the Monster Machines, which features a STEM curriculum, to its hit roster.
Nickelodeon continues to be the home to kids’ most beloved animated characters, led by SpongeBob SquarePants. Nickelodeon’s animation lineup also features the CG-animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and other hits such as Sanjay & Craig, Breadwinners and The Fairly OddParents, among many others. To develop even more animation talent, Ms. Zarghami commissioned an Animated Shorts Program, which has generated thousands of pitches from around the world, and from which new series are being developed and produced for the network, online and mobile with the Nick App.
In live action, Ms. Zarghami has developed the deepest roster of talent in Nickelodeon’s history and has introduced a new slate of shows for post-millenial kids’ and their families, including the new hits Bella and the Bulldogs, Henry Danger, and Nicky, Ricky, Dicky and Dawn, which join existing hits such as The Thundermans and Instant Mom.
As an advocate for kids, Ms. Zarghami has expanded Nickelodeon’s pro-social leadership role as a key component of its brand identity. Under its award-winning The Big Help banner, Nickelodeon informs and empowers kids of all ages to connect kids to issues they have said are important to them and their families. In fall, 2014, Nickelodeon celebrated its 11th annual Worldwide Day of Play in New York City.
Ms. Zarghami lives with her family in New York City.
|Senior Vice President of Programming, Nickelodeon Group||ELIZABETH MURRAY||Elizabeth Murray is the Senior Vice President of Programming for Nickelodeon Group. In this role, she is responsible for Nickelodeon’s long-term programming strategies, seamlessly weaving together programming schedules for Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Nick Jr., and Nick’s more than 30 programming platforms including video-on-demand, download-to-own and wireless.
In addition, she works with Nickelodeon’s various lines of business to ensure that their goals are supported on-air and liaises with Nickelodeon International on global programming strategies.
Murray previously served as Nickelodeon’s Vice President of programming, responsible for programming on Nick as well as Nick at Nite and Nick Jr. She was also instrumental in expanding Nickelodeon’s global footprint by migrating best practices and successful programming strategies to Nickelodeon channels worldwide.
Murray joined Viacom in 1997 as a production assistant for MTV. In 1999, she joined the team that launched the digital preschool channel, NOGGIN. Shortly after, she moved over to the Nickelodeon marketing team to manage the launch of new series and events, such as The Fairly OddParents. In 2004, Murray was promoted to Director of Programming, where she oversaw the day-to-day planning and scheduling of the network.
Prior to joining Viacom, Murray was a preschool teacher and worked in Dublin, Ireland for the Irish Film Board. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications/Journalism from the University of Rhode Island.
|Head of Sales, Nickelodeon Group||JIM PERRY||
Jim Perry is Head of Sales, Nickelodeon Group. In this role, Mr. Perry oversees ad sales for multiple brands across a wide variety of platforms, including: Nickelodeon; Nick Jr.; Nicktoons; Nick at Nite; TeenNick and Nickelodeon’s digital media portfolio.
A 21-year veteran of Viacom, Mr. Perry has used his experience to maintain Nick as a leader in kids and family television, deliver new business to the network, and lead new cable networks--such as TeenNick and Nicktoons in 2005--to become fully ad-supported. He has successfully negotiated major business deals throughout his career. These agreements have enabled marketers to establish their brands with kids, teens and parents. In addition, Mr. Perry runs a significant teen business with TeenNick and AddictingGames, as well as Nick’s adult business with Nick at Nite, Shockwave, ParentsConnect and now Nickelodeon.
Mr. Perry successfully launched Nickelodeon's existing new business ad sales division to generate partnerships with non-traditional advertisers within the automotive, consumer electronics, travel, financial, insurance and hospitality industries. Mr. Perry works closely with internal research, marketing/promotions, licensing and programming to create valuable opportunities for marketers.
Mr. Perry joined Viacom in 1991 as a Sales Planner in the Advertising Sales Department where he was exposed to all of MTV Networks cable properties: MTV, VH1 and Nickelodeon. In 1992, he was promoted to Account Executive at Nickelodeon and has since managed many of the networks largest accounts. In 1999, he was promoted to Vice President of Nick New Business and in 2002, he was promoted to Senior Vice President of Nickelodeon Advertising Sales.
Prior to joining Viacom, Mr. Perry worked as a Research Analyst at U.S. News & World Report and a Sales Representative at General Foods Corporation.
Perry is a 1987 graduate of Colgate University where he earned a B.A.
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|Senior Vice President and General Manager, Nicktoons, TeenNick and Nick Jr.||KEITH DAWKINS||As Senior Vice President and General Manager of Nicktoons, TeenNick and Nick Jr., Keith Dawkins is responsible for the day-to-day operations for the toon, teen and preschool networks, including on-air promotion, programming, scheduling and marketing. He also works with Viacom Content Marketing and Distribution on the channels’ rollout.
Dawkins also forges new creative partnerships and co-productions with non-traditional programming partners for the networks. He has developed a variety of partnerships with industry leaders such as Marvel Animation, FremantleMedia, Lionsgate, LEGO and the National Football League (NFL) designed to bring new content to the networks. Additionally, Dawkins has built new content ideas with unique talent, including Rob Dyrdek for Wild Grinders and Nick Cannon for TeenNick Top 10.
As the first General Manager of Nicktoons, Dawkins has helped the network grow from eight million households to 68 million, become ad-supported and currently stand as the fastest growing kids’ network in the marketplace. Dawkins has overseen the launch of a roster of shows including Wild Grinders, Kappa Mikey, Edgar & Ellen, Skyland, Speed Racer: The Next Generation and Dragon Ball Z Kai. He formed a partnership with Marvel Animation that brought several of their popular franchises to Nicktoons audiences. This includes Wolverine and the X-Men and Iron Man: Armored Adventures, which both premiered to stellar ratings and led the network to double-digit year-over-year growth. Dawkins also formed a partnership with the NFL that led to the co-production of the short form series, Rush Zone: Guardians of the Core, which drew more than 9.4 million total viewers since its premiere in 2010. This relationship has continued into two additional seasons of the franchise. Most recently, Dawkins spearheaded the launch of NickSports--a brand-new primetime programming block on Nicktoons. This new, two-hour weekly block features a mix of original and acquired long- and short-form content from professional sports leagues NFL, MLS and NASCAR; new episodes of Nicktoons’ hit animated series Wild Grinders from Rob Dyrdek and NFL RUSH ZONE; documentary programming; and acquired theatrical movies.
At the helm of TeenNick, Dawkins is charged with leading the teen brand which features a roster of Nick favorites, original programming and award-winning series including: TeenNick Top 10, Degrassi, Gigantic, Drake & Josh, True Jackson, VP, Zoey 101, Ned's Declassified and What I Like About You. Dawkins also partners with TeenNick Chairman Nick Cannon on Nick’s original programming initiatives such as the TeenNick HALO Awards. Most recently, Dawkins spearheaded the launch of “The ‘90s Are All That,” a two-hour, weeknight programming block developed in response to fan demand and featuring some of Nickelodeon’s iconic ‘90s hits. The debut of the on-air initiative and its accompanying integrated, fan-driven social media components resulted in the highest late-night viewership ever in the network’s history and sparked a social media fan frenzy on Twitter.
As the leader of day-to-day operations for Nick Jr., in nearly 75 million households via cable, digital cable and satellite TV, Dawkins is responsible for many of Nickelodeon’s mega-hit preschool shows, including Dora the Explorer, Go, Diego, Go!, Bubble Guppies, The Backyardigans, Ni Hao, Kai-lan, The Wonder Pets!, Yo Gabba Gabba!, Olivia, The Fresh Beat Band and Team Umizoomi. He also oversees the adult-targeted NickMom programming block on Nick Jr. featuring original long and short-form programming, including talk shows, stand-up and sketch comedy, scripted comedy, docu-series and more. Dawkins’ combination of kid-focused creativity, ingenuity and leadership skills make him a valuable asset to the success of the channel.
Dawkins began his time at Viacom by serving as a supervising producer for VH1 News, where he oversaw numerous long-form programs and spearheaded the channel’s short-form news coverage. Prior to joining VH1, Dawkins was a producer at Fox News Channel where he was part of the network’s original launch team, producing a variety of daily and live event coverage such as Super Bowl XXXI and the Clinton impeachment proceedings.
Dawkins graduated from the NAMIC Executive Leadership Development Program in 2007 and received the prestigious NAMIC Next Generation Leaders Award in 2008. During his tenure with Viacom, Dawkins has served on numerous advisory boards that foster diversity and inclusion amongst peers, departments and networks, including the VH1 Diversity Team, the Nickelodeon Diversity Team and most recently the Viacom Office of Global Inclusion Advisory Committee (GIAC). The Viacom GIAC is committed to championing the next generation of leadership across all Viacom brands, and ensuring that the Viacom culture continues to evolve as a welcoming and inclusive place for talent, employees, leaders and partners. In addition to being a former board member of the NY chapter of “Reach out and Read,” a national children’s literacy organization, Dawkins currently sits on the Board of Governors for Ramapo College and he’s the current inaugural President of the Ridgewood High School Alumni Association.
A graduate of the CTAM Executive Management Program at Harvard Business School and the NAMIC Executive Leadership Program at UCLA’s Anderson Graduate School of Management, Dawkins also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication from Ramapo College. He currently lives in Ridgewood, N.J., with his wife and two sons.
|Executive Vice President, Corporate Communications, Nickelodeon Group||DAN MARTINSEN||
Dan Martinsen is Executive Vice President, Corporate Communications, Nickelodeon Group.
In this role Mr. Martinsen is responsible for developing strategic communications plans for Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Nick Jr., TeenNick, Nicktoons and all of its related businesses, including Television, Ad Sales, Consumer Products, Promotions Marketing, Nick Movies, Recreation, Public Affairs and Magazines.
In addition to leading the communications staff in both New York and Santa Monica, Mr. Martinsen works closely with Cyma Zarghami, MTV Networks Corporate Communications and Viacom Corporate Communications to secure media coverage that reinforces Nickelodeon's position as the number-one kids' entertainment brand. He also partners with Nickelodeon’s Chief of Staff Marva Smalls in managing internal communications.
Mr. Martinsen joined Nickelodeon as Vice President, Communications in November 1997, and managed all the day-to-day publicity efforts for U.S. Television. Under his leadership, the communications team generated tremendous media coverage for priority projects such as Nickelodeon’s 20th birthday, the opening of the Nickelodeon Animation Studio; the breakout of Blue’s Clues as a franchise hit; the Kids’ Choice Awards and all TV series launches, including SpongeBob SquarePants.
During the celebration of Nick’s 20th birthday, Mr. Martinsen helped gain tremendous press coverage. Some of the media coverage for this event included a Time magazine feature on the Nickelodeon State of Kid’s study, a Los Angeles Times feature on Nickelodeon’s future and, a front page media business piece in The New York Times.
A 20-year veteran of television public relations, Mr. Martinsen joined Nick from USA Networks, where he was Vice President, Media Relations. Prior to USA Networks, he headed public relations at Rainbow Programming’s SportsChannel America from 1988-1991. From 1985-1988, Mr. Martinsen held various public relations positions at NBC. He began his career as a reporter at Newsday.
Mr. Martinsen lives in Smithtown, NY with his wife Doreen, his daughters Kathleen and Julia, and son, Danny.
|Executive Vice President of Public Affairs, Chief of Staff for Nickelodeon and Executive Vice President of Global Inclusion Strategy for Viacom||MARVA SMALLS||Marva Smalls is Executive Vice President of Public Affairs, Chief of Staff for Nickelodeon and Executive Vice President of Global Inclusion Strategy for Viacom. Smalls has more than three decades of leadership experience in the public and private sectors. She is widely recognized as one of the most influential leaders in media.
As Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Chief of Staff for Nickelodeon, Smalls partners closely with the President and the COO in directing financial resources, personnel and facilities for their New York and West Coast offices. She also manages and oversees meetings of the Executive Management Team, a strategic planning group comprised of the senior leaders at Nickelodeon.
Smalls administers all pro-social and corporate responsibility initiatives for Nickelodeon and coordinates relationships with advocates, government officials, educators, non-profit organizations and trade associations. Under her leadership, Nickelodeon’s award-winning, pro-social campaigns have been recognized by presidential administrations and supported by top names in the entertainment industry.
In her role as Executive Vice President of Global Inclusion Strategy for Viacom, Smalls works with leadership across Viacom’s brand portfolio to champion multiculturalism, inclusiveness and diversity worldwide. Her role includes the development of the next generation of leaders at Viacom and the expansion of the company’s strategic partnerships with outside organizations. She reports directly to Viacom’s CEO Philippe Dauman.
Prior to joining Viacom in 1993, Smalls served in public sector positions on state and national levels, including a decade as Chief of Staff for a member of the US House of Representatives.
She has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of South Carolina, where she was recently awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities. Smalls established an endowment for the University of South Carolina’s Ronald McNair Center which offers scholarships and support to engineering students from the under-represented populations. She also started the Marva Smalls Endowment to support programs that provide opportunities to youth and families. She serves on numerous boards of directors including the National Council for Families and Television, CTAM Foundation, Big Brothers - Big Sisters of America and American Theater Wing.
Smalls currently resides in New York City and Charleston, SC.
|Senior Vice President, Digital, Nickelodeon Group||MATTHEW EVANS||
Matthew Evans is Senior Vice President of Digital for Nickelodeon Group. In this role, Evans oversees strategy, product, content, programming and operations for Nickelodeon’s entire digital media portfolio. As the architect of Nickelodeon’s Emmy® Award-winning Nick app, which includes full episodes through TV Everywhere, original short-form videos, and games, Evans is responsible for Nickelodeon’s expansion to new platforms, as well as the company’s desktop and mobile sites for Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Nicktoons, Nick at Nite and TeenNick.
Prior to joining the network, Evans was Vice President, Digital Media and head of NBC Universal Digital Studios, where he was responsible for generating new advertising revenue through the creation of original video-based experiences for third-party distributors like MSN and Break Media, and NBCU, including the original, digital version of Bravo's "Watch What Happens Live".
Before NBCU, Evans served as the Director of Programming for AOL Moviefone. As AOL’s business lead for the movie channel, Evans managed strategy, programming, content, product and operations for the second-highest revenue category in the company. He oversaw a complete repositioning of Moviefone.com as a major movie content destination and created Moviefone’s original video series "Unscripted".
Evans also served as General Manager, RollingStone.com & GetMusic for Vivendi Universal and Vice President, New York Operations for Vivendi Universal Net USA (VUNet USA). He was a founding member of the management team at GetMusic, a member of the e-commerce and advanced technology team at Universal Music Group and worked with eGreetings.com where he launched their first web-based digital greeting card service.
|Chief Marketing Officer and President, Consumer Products, Nickelodeon Group||PAM KAUFMAN||
Pam Kaufman is the Chief Marketing Officer and President of Consumer Products for Nickelodeon. Kaufman is a strong global-branding executive who provides the company with high-level vision, strategy and execution across its media platforms, marketing efforts and consumer products businesses.
In her role as CMO, Kaufman serves as Nickelodeon’s marketing and branding leader, overseeing all global consumer marketing efforts across television, digital, events, music, retail ad sales and consumer products, advancing Nickelodeon’s standing as the world’s leading kids’ entertainment brand. Kaufman additionally manages the strategic property planning and retail sales and marketing efforts for Nickelodeon’s global franchises.
Kaufman leads the company’s Integrated Marketing efforts, working with blue-chip advertisers like General Mills and Toyota, and all Strategic Marketing plans for new content, including most recently a new generation of hit programming including Sam & Cat, The Haunted Hathaways, Rabbids and Sanjay & Craig. She has helmed the launch strategies for the groundbreaking iCarly, the successful return of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; digital initiatives such as the network’s top-selling apps, including the Emmy Award-winning Nick App; Nick Radio, the network’s first-ever partnership with Clear Channel; and live events like the annual Kids’ Choice Awards and the first-ever SpongeBob fan convention, the "SpongeBob Shellabration."
Kaufman’s responsibilities also include oversight of Nick’s Recreation and Special Events teams, and she spearheads the marketing strategy and support for brand extensions like Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America, Nickelodeon’s entertainment program for Norwegian Cruise Line and the SpongeBob store at Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla.
As President of Consumer Products, Kaufman oversees domestically Nickelodeon’s billion-dollar global consumer products business, which encompasses merchandising and licensing for some of the worlds’ most popular and iconic intellectual properties, including SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Peter Rabbit. Kaufman also spearheads Nick’s major licensing programs with industry-leading partners like Mattel, Fisher-Price, Playmates and Crayola and retail partnerships with Walmart, Kmart, Target and Toys ‘R’ Us.
Before joining Nickelodeon in 1997 as Vice President of Nickelodeon Promotions Marketing, Kaufman worked at Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., as Vice President, Promotions. There, she started the Promotions Group within TBS’s Licensing & Merchandising division and led the promotional efforts for corporate initiatives like The Flintstones, Scooby Doo and Johnny Quest. Kaufman significantly grew the business and brand exposure for these properties. She began her career at Grey Advertising’s Beaumont-Bennet division working on accounts including Hess gasoline, Gordon’s Gin and Vodka before moving to Equity Marketing, where she developed and sold comprehensive premium programs to domestic fast food, packaged goods and beverage companies.
Throughout her career, Kaufman has received numerous awards and has been recognized by the media community for her innovations, receiving several awards including Advertising Age’s Entertainment Marketer of the Year in 2002, Brandweek’s 1999 Grand Marketer of the Year and the Marketer of the Year in 1998. Under her leadership, the Nickelodeon Brand Marketing team was awarded the 2007 NAMIC Excellence in Multicultural Marketing.
Kaufman holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Communications from American University. She enjoys travelling, music and her favorite movie is Jaws.
|EVP, Research and Planning, Nickelodeon Group||RON GERACI||
Ron Geraci is Executive Vice President of Research and Planning, Nickelodeon Group. In this role, Geraci manages the programming, consumer insights and advertising sales research for the number-one kids' network and its digital channels,--Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, TeenNick, Nicktoons, and Nick Jr.--as well as its many digital offerings like Nick.com, NickJr.com and the Nick App.
Geraci oversees all research related to analyzing viewer trends, and handles primary research on behalf of Nickelodeon’s advertising sales department. He has spearheaded groundbreaking research projects like “The Kids’ Influence Study,” “The New Normal,” “Family GPS” and Nick’s most recent published study “The Story of Me.” Geraci also managed the development of the “Permission to Play” study, which looked at the attitudes of kids and parents and the current state of play in the U.S. All of these research studies have helped the network break into non-traditional kid categories such as automotive, travel and new media.
Geraci joined the company in 1999 as Director of Research for Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite and TV Land, responsible for analyzing the viewership related to those networks’ programs, including understanding how the audience watches each network, what programs and genres work best with various age groups and understanding their competitive positions. He also oversaw Nick at Nite’s attitudinal research, which included people’s perception and awareness of the network, likes and dislikes concerning the network, as well as interest in potential program acquisitions, which involved conducting both qualitative and quantitative research. He also tested pilots for all Nick at Nite original series, as well as potential acquisitions.
Prior to Nickelodeon, Geraci held positions in research at the National Basketball Association, Young and Rubicam Advertising, Showtime Networks and Nielsen.
Geraci earned a bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University.
|President, Content Development and Production, Nickelodeon Group||RUSSELL HICKS||
Russell Hicks is President, Content Development and Production for Nickelodeon Group. Based at Nickelodeon’s Burbank and Santa Monica, Calif. offices, he oversees the company’s live-action, animation development and production teams for all of Nickelodeon’s content platforms and across all of the network’s channels—Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Nick Jr., TeenNick and Nicktoons.
Hicks oversees a development and production slate that includes more than a dozen new live-action, animation and TV movie projects as part of Nickelodeon’s deep commitment to new content for the first generation of post-millennial kids. Additionally, Hicks has quickly re-energized and realigned the development team to organize Nick’s animation, live-action, digital, movies, talent and short form into a single cohesive group.
In animation, he initiated a new shorts program to attract new talent and projects. In 2012 the program took over 600 pitches and made 12 shorts, greenlighting five for series development. A 2013 program has already commenced. In live-action, Hicks has created multiple sources for new projects through sketch comedy, including opening a sketch lab in Los Angeles, creating comedy workshops to cultivate new talent, and creating an environment to incubate new projects and allow new talent, writers and producers to develop ideas for Nickelodeon.
A 14-year Nickelodeon veteran, Hicks previously served as the network’s Chief Creative Officer. In this position he oversaw all of Nickelodeon Creative, On-Air Promotions, Consumer Products, Brand and Advertising divisions, and led the product development and creative positioning of Nickelodeon’s brands and properties, ensuring it represented Nickelodeon’s “Kids’ First” philosophy and supporting the company mission to provide surprising and playful experiences for its audiences. In 2009, he led an unprecedented creative review of the Nickelodeon brand and re-imagined its logo to represent the growth the company had attained after 30 years, while also maintaining and reflecting the company’s core attributes.
Prior to working at Nickelodeon, Hicks was Vice President of Marketing, Cartoon Network/Turner brands for Warner Brothers, where he was responsible for the marketing and creative that turned Scooby Doo and the Power Puff Girls into cultural icons. Hicks started his career as an animator that led him to work on Teddy Ruxpin, the first talking teddy bear for Worlds of Wonder toys. It is this combination of both animation and consumer products that has given Hicks his extensive knowledge of the children’s entertainment world. Hicks attended California State University Fullerton where he studied illustration and design.
|CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, VIACOM KIDS AND FAMILY GROUP||SARAH LEVY||
Sarah Levy is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Viacom Inc.’s (VIA.A and VIA.B) Kids and Family Group, a portfolio of content brands that includes the linear, digital, mobile and consumer products divisions of Nickelodeon, TV Land and CMT. She also serves as a key conduit to Viacom in representing the Kids and Family Group businesses. Based in New York, she reports to Cyma Zarghami, President, Viacom Kids and Family Group.
During her 16-year tenure at Viacom, she has been instrumental in developing Nickelodeon’s long-range business plans and growing the Nickelodeon brand across four TV networks, the consumer products, recreation and licensing businesses. Ms. Levy has helmed strategic partnerships and acquisitions, and has played a key role in expanding the brand’s numerous digital businesses.
In 2010 Ms. Levy spearheaded the efforts behind Viacom’s acquisition of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles global franchise. Since then the property has emerged as a global success for Viacom, including a hit CG-animated series; a feature film in partnership with Paramount Pictures that has grossed almost $200MM, with a sequel set for 2016; and a global consumer products powerhouse—ranking as the number-one action figure brand in 2014 across all retail. Ms. Levy also forged a key partnership with Spin Master for the hit preschool property PAW Patrol, which currently ranks as a top preschool show across all TV.
Under her leadership, the brand introduced the Nick App, a branded mobile experience that offers kids instant and on-demand access to thousands of pieces of Nick-themed content. To date, the Emmy® Award-winning Nick App has over 13 million installs. Nickelodeon also recently launched two Apps for preschoolers, the Nick Jr. App, and the recently-announced Noggin mobile subscription service that features an abundant volume of long- and short-form content for preschoolers.
Additionally, she spearheaded the deal making for the net’s first standalone theme park, Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America and Nick Radio, the brand’s first-ever partnership with iHeartMedia.
Prior to her role as COO, Ms. Levy served as Executive Vice President, Strategy and Business Operations for Nickelodeon. She began her career with Nick in 1998 as Director of Business Development.
Ms. Levy received a B.A. degree in Economics from Harvard College and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. Prior to business school, she was a Senior Analyst in Disney’s corporate strategic planning group, where she performed all aspects of strategic analysis for the Filmed Entertainment and Recorded Music divisions, including Disney’s acquisition of Capital Cities/ABC. She also worked in the Mergers & Acquisitions department at Goldman Sachs & Co.
Sarah lives in New York City with her husband and two children.