DHX’s New Studio, Key Hires for Brands Division


HALIFAX: DHX Media is rebranding its content-creation division to DHX Studios and is building a new state-of-the-art animation studio in Vancouver, with the company also making a trio of appointments at DHX Brands.

DHX Studios will consolidate the company’s West Coast production operations of approximately 700 employees. The 60,000-square-foot facility is scheduled for completion in December 2016. It will unite development, production and interactive under a seasoned management team led by Asaph Fipke as chief content officer, and Ken Faier as senior VP and general manager.

The studio will also include Kirsten Newlands as senior VP of animation production; Stephanie Betts as VP of development and current series; Logan McPherson as VP of creative for animation production; Phillip Stamp as VP of current production in Halifax; and Tracey Jardine as VP of live action. LA-based Josh Fisher was recently hired as VP of creative affairs, working under Betts. DHX Studios will report to DHX Media’s president and chief operating officer, Steven DeNure, and will drive the development and production of original animated and live-action content for the company’s catalogue, while also continuing to partner with key content creators worldwide.

DeNure commented: “The reorganization of this business unit cements DHX Media’s dedication to producing outstanding original content. We’re excited to launch DHX Studios under this strong management group, and to be bringing our 2D and 3D Vancouver animation teams together into one facility.”

Fipke said: “At DHX, we pride ourselves on putting creativity first. The formation of DHX Studios integrates the expertise of our creative teams in Vancouver, Toronto and Halifax and allows us to push our industry’s standards for creative excellence. We’re proud to be producing the highest quality animation and live action in the industry, and continuing our work with top content creators in the kids and family business.”

Meanwhile, DHX Brands, DHX Media’s dedicated brand management and consumer products arm, is expanding its team with three new hires across its Los Angeles and London offices. Kaisa Nieminen has been named senior brand manager for North America, based in the LA office and reporting to Tor Bushell, the VP of global brand management in London. Nieminen will lead brand and marketing initiatives in North America for Teletubbies, Twirlywoos and Yo Gabba Gabba! She joins the company from Mattel, where she oversaw a portfolio of kids’ entertainment brands.

Dave Tovey takes on the newly created post of business development manager for EMEA, and Danielle Tanton fills the new role of live events and attractions manager, global, with both execs working out of the U.K. under Tom Roe, commercial director. Tovey previously worked for Mind Candy, where he contributed to the Moshi Monsters consumer products campaign. He is now responsible for the full DHX Brands portfolio, with a key focus on In the Night Garden. Tanton will manage global licensing for live events and attractions based on Teletubbies, In the Night Garden and Twirlywoos. She began her career in the children’s industry at HIT Entertainment and Mattel.

Peter Byrne, the executive VP of DHX Brands, remarked: “These appointments underpin the rapid global expansion of DHX Brands since inception. Kaisa, Dave and Danielle bring immense experience in their disciplines and will provide invaluable extra firepower as we continue to expand our brands worldwide.”