TV Kids Festival Preview


As with most other sectors of the industry, there is an undercurrent of anxiety across the kids’ media business. Commissions are down, budgets are restricted, and there’s an awful lot of high-quality content out there competing with rudimentary fare made in the creator economy. How is an IP owner supposed to cope? Well, you could start by registering for the fourth edition of the TVKids Festival, which runs online next week. We’ve assembled 35 speakers across more than 15 sessions to reveal what’s happening in the business and how successful programmers, producers and distributors are responding.

Our traditional opening panel featuring top buyers is back on Tuesday morning with Disney’s Rick Clodfelter, Warner Bros. Discovery’s Zia Sands, BBC Children’s Anna Taganov and SVT’s Helena Nylander. Next, we’ll hear from Lauren Glaubach, director and global head of youth partnerships and programming at YouTube, on how best to work with the leading video platform for kids. Ed Galton, CEO of CAKE, will weigh in on how the boutique independent outfit is approaching the latest shifts in the kids’ business. We’ve also convened a super panel with BBC Studios Kids & Family’s Cecilia Persson, Paramount’s Lauren Marriott, Cyber Group Studios’ Raphaëlle Mathieu and 9 Story’s Alix Wiseman about navigating the challenges of the ecosystem today. In his first TV Kids Festival appearance since becoming president and CEO of WildBrain, Josh Scherba will showcase the company’s thriving multiplatform brand-building strategies. The day wraps with a keynote from industry veteran Tom Ascheim, who will share his expertise on engaging with youth audiences.

The Wednesday schedule begins with a look at how to land commissions with public broadcasters with The Jim Henson Company’s Halle Stanford, Mediawan Kids & Family’s Julien Borde and Dandelooo’s Emmanuèle Pétry-Sirvin. That leads into our first keynote of the day, Sara DeWitt, senior VP and general manager at PBS KIDS, the number one children’s educational media brand in the U.S. At noon, we spotlight new and emerging funding models with APC Kids’ Lionel Marty, Guru Studio’s Frank Falcone, Thunderbird Entertainment’s Richard Goldsmith and Sixteen South’s Alexandros van Blanken. Next, just a few months since taking on oversight of Mattel Television Studios, Michelle Mendelovitz will discuss the toy giant’s expanding content slate. The Wednesday lineup wraps with a keynote from Audrey Diehl, senior VP of series at Warner Bros. Animation and Cartoon Network Studios.

This winter’s TV Kids Pioneer Award is being presented to Sky’s Lucy Murphy on Thursday morning. She is responsible for the Sky Kids linear channel and an expanding lineup of on-demand shows on the pay-TV platform in the U.K. and Ireland. The morning also sees Sesame Workshop’s Susan Scheiner, ZDF Studios’ Oliver Grundel and Bejuba! Entertainment’s Tatiana Kober discuss incorporating science, technology, engineering, arts and math into kids’ content. Shortly after that, social-emotional learning takes center stage in a panel discussion with Atlantyca Entertainment’s Claudia Mazzucco, Acamar Films’ Mikael Shields, Lion Forge Entertainment’s Koyalee Chanda and MIAM! distribution’s Mélanie Errea. Those needing intel on the various ways to work with YouTube will hear insights from HARI’s Sophie “Kido” Prigent,’s Brian C. Janes, Wind Sun Sky Entertainment’s Jo Redfern and C To The B Productions’ Claude Brooks during our 1:30 p.m. EST session. The TV Kids Festival conference wraps with a conversation with Eric Fogel, executive producer of DreamWorks Animation’s Megamind Rules! And be sure to come back on Friday for a selection of new content to screen.

Don’t forget to register so you can receive access to our Exclusive White Paper after the event, delivering all of the highlights in an easy-to-digest fashion.