9 Story Media Group has revealed new structural and management changes to its creative affairs team, positioned under the leadership of Chief Creative Officer Angela C. Santomero.
“9 Story is a global leader in children’s content and this exceptional team is well poised to take our creative to the next level,” said Santomero. “Our entire creative team is the best in the business. Together we have created and will continue to create visionary, groundbreaking shows for kids that elevate what children’s media is to the world. Already we have secured high profile creative development projects that we are excited to announce soon.”
“9 Story’s newly appointed creative affairs team has a tremendous collective track record in children’s media,” said Vince Commisso, president and CEO for 9 Story Media Group. “Under Angela’s leadership, this talented team will work closely with our studio, Brown Bag Films, and will be invaluable to realizing our creative vision going forward.”
Wendy Harris has been promoted to the newly created role of senior VP of content and creative affairs. She will report to Santomero and be based out of 9 Story’s New York office. Harris will direct the creative content process for development, production and current series. She is an award-winning children’s TV executive producer and writer, starting on the original Blue’s Clues and later as co-creator and executive producer of the spin-off Blue’s Room.
Marcy Pritchard joins the company’s New York team in the newly created role of senior VP of business and creative affairs, reporting to Santomero. Pritchard is tasked with growing the 9 Story USA office and streamlining integration efforts with 9 Story’s Toronto and Dublin studios. Pritchard will lead finance and operations in New York to resource and support creative development, production and distribution. Pritchard has been working in children’s TV since the ’90s, starting on the original Blue’s Clues continuing on at Nickelodeon to produce the Blue’s Room spin-off and followed by the current hit series Team Umizoomi.
Jennie Stacey is promoted to VP of development, also reporting to Santomero. Based in Dublin, Stacey will lead the company’s overall development efforts for original series. Stacey has spearheaded many of Brown Bag’s biggest hits, including Henry Hugglemonster, Angela’s Christmas and Sadie Sparks for Disney Channel.
Sarah Wallendjack comes into the new role of VP of production and development (NY), reporting into Harris. Wallendjack will work with the creative affairs team to oversee projects from development through production. Wallendjack has been a key part of the Out of the Blue creative team.
Rachel Kalban will continue in her role as VP of research and curriculum, reporting to Harris. A child development expert with a Master’s degree in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University’s Teachers College, Kalban has an eye to develop curriculum-driven brands. Kalban has played a key role in the development and success of Super Why, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Creative Galaxy, Wishenpoof and Charlie’s Colorform City.
Alex Breen has been promoted to VP of interactive, reporting to Pritchard. Breen will oversee the creation and distribution of interactive content, focusing on 9 Story properties with inherent digital potential and emerging technologies. Breen is an award-winning producer with over 13 years of experience in digital media, apps and production management Out of the Blue.
Changes were also made to bolster the management and creative leadership at 9 Story’s Brown Bag Films, which works closely with 9 Story’s creative affairs team. Darragh O’Connell, co-founder of Brown Bag Films, is now group creative director for the global studio. Cory Bobiak, a long-time director at Brown Bag Films/9 Story Media Group, has been promoted to the newly created role of creative director (Toronto). Bobiak will report into O’Connell and oversee creative direction within the Toronto studio. Additional promotions include Gillian Higgins to senior VP of production (Europe), Louise Cornally to senior VP of finance and business affairs, and John Brady to VP of production technology. Higgins, Cornally and Brady are based in Dublin and report to Cathal Gaffney, COO.
9 Story has also made several promotions within its international distribution company, 9 Story Distribution International. Alix Wiseman is promoted to senior VP of distribution and acquisitions, now overseeing global distribution and acquisitions efforts from the operation’s Dublin headquarters and reporting to Natalie Osborne, CCO. Stephen Kelley is promoted to VP of distribution (EMEA), and Federico Vargas is promoted to VP of distribution overseeing the Asia Pacific, Latin America and Iberia. Kelley and Vargas continue to be based in Dublin and report to Wiseman.
Jennifer Ansley has been elevated to senior VP of marketing and communications. Gord Garwood has been promoted to the newly created position of VP of creative services, overseeing corporate visual strategy, graphic design and branding.