NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment’s 24-hour preschool network Sprout has named three industry veterans to key executive roles. Chanon Cook, Dea Connick Perez and Shane Lindley now join the team as Vice Presidents of diverse departments. The appointments were announced by Frances Berwick, President, Lifestyle Networks for NBCUniversal.
“It is a dynamic time at Sprout, as we continue to grow both in viewership and content, and now more than ever, it’s critical that we provide our youngest viewers with seamless multiplatform experiences,” said Berwick. “As we looked across the business, we made the decision to bolster our senior management across two vital functions. These new roles will help us continue our growth trajectory and launch each new show in the best possible way, while ensuring our insights team has smart, seasoned leadership to continue to inform network strategy.”
Chanon Cook has been named Vice President, Insights and Strategy, tasked with leading and managing Sprout’s research team, generating actionable insights and recommendations from qualitative and quantitative research data. Cook will advise the programming and marketing teams in support of ratings, brand and business growth goals, and will initiate and lead all primary research studies. Most recently, Cook was VP, Research and Analytics for IFC. Prior, she spent 10 years as SVP, Strategic Insights and Research at Comedy Central, and has also held research roles at Lifetime and USA Network. Cook will report to Berwick.
Dea Connick Perez takes on the newly created role of Vice President, Program Strategy and Acquisitions to lead programming and scheduling strategy for Sprout to maximize cross-platform viewership. Working closely with research and marketing, she will create high impact tentpole events for both linear and digital platforms, and will work to capitalize on market trends and emerging platform opportunities. Perez was formerly Principal of Dea Connick Perez Media Consultancy, overseeing acquisitions and programming strategy for Qubo Channel and Ion Life. Prior, she was at Discovery Kids Media as Acting GM and VP of Programming. She also served as VP of Programming and Acquisitions at Cartoon Network, and was Director of Acquisitions for Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite and TV Land for 11 years. Perez will report to Amy Friedman, SVP of Programming.
And Shane Lindley has been named to the new role of Vice President, Digital, to oversee Sprout’s growing digital business and create experiences for the preschool audience across all digital platforms. He will also set strategic direction for growing Sprout’s digital business, including expanding and enhancing content plans, analytics, product and technology. Lindley comes from Epix, where he was Senior Director of Digital Programming and Product. His extensive experience in children’s digital media includes senior positions at DreamWorks, where he led the digital publishing business, and various digital roles at The Walt Disney Company and BBC Children’s Interactive. Lindley reports to Jennifer Giddens, SVP, Marketing and Digital.