Cartoon Net’s Arnesen Kicked Upstairs, Goes Global

The exec who headed successful co-prods for the Cartoon Network in Europe has apparently done such a boffo job his bosses are giving him a leg-up and a new job. Finn Arnesen has been appointed head of program production for Cartoon Network International with responsibility for all areas outside the U.S., it was announced yesterday.

In his new role Arnesen will represent all Cartoon Network channels in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Australia and the Far East. This is reportedly in order to enable the international channels to play a more proactive role in the development process. Cartoon Network has committed $500 million over five years (2003-2007) to producing original animated programming, much of which will be developed and produced at the Cartoon Network Studios in Burbank, Calif.

Among other things, Arnesen will coordinate domestic and international markets for all original program development. In Europe Arnesen will also retain his existing title of VP of programming, acquisitions and development.

“This new role will be invaluable to Cartoon Network globally and is richly deserved by Finn as a recognition of his undisputed expertise in programming,” says Tina McCann, senior vice president and GM for Turner Entertainment Network International Limited.

In a related move, CN has appointed Bob Higgins as head of Cartoon Network programming and development in the US. Cartoon Network Studios has been responsible for global hits including The Powerpuff Girls, Dexter’s Laboratory and Johnny Bravo. In Europe, Arnesen has overseen the co-production of shows such as The Cramp Twins (a 26 half-hour series which has enjoyed great ratings success on Cartoon Network and the BBC) and Spaced Out with Alphanim. Series two of The Cramp Twins and a new show Robotboy are in the pipeline.

Arnesen joined Turner Entertainment Networks International in 1993 and has been instrumental in developing the programming for European networks. He is responsible for the development of animation and original productions as well as overseeing scheduling and programming buying for all Cartoon Network Europe feeds.

Cartoon Network’s family of channels together makes up the most watched animation and kids’ cable and satellite channels in the UK. Worldwide Cartoon Network is available in 17 languages on 21 feeds in 155 million homes. In Europe, the Middle East and Africa channels are operated by Turner Broadcasting System Europe Limited, an AOL Time Warner Company.