Kent Rice has been appointed CEO of Starz Animation, a division of Starz Media dedicated to developing and producing feature-length, animated movies. Through its distribution deal with 20th Century Fox, the company will see the theatrical launch of its first CG feature, Everyone’s Hero, on Sept. 15.
Reporting to Starz LLC chairman and CEO Robert Clasen, Rice will leverage more than 20 years of executive-level management experience in cable operations, telecom and TV programming. He most recently served as exec adviser to Starz Ent. and played an active role in the acquisition of animation juggernaut IDT Ent., which is now known as Starz Media.
Janet Healy, former head of DreamWorks Animation and Walt Disney Feature Animation and producer of DreamWorks’ Shark Tale, will continue to act as president of Starz Animation, reporting to Rice.
Prior to joining Starz, Rice founded and headed consulting group Il Ponte Partners. From 1995-2004, he was president and CEO for International Channel Networks, a subsidiary of Starz parent company Liberty Media. Before that, he served as chief operating officer for Liberty Global’s Norway division and was a division president for Time Warner Cable.
Everyone’s Hero, the film Christopher Reeve was directing at the time of his death, wil be followed by the Starz Animation/Vanguard/Odyssey productions Space Chimps (2007), directed by Donavan Cook and Norton Virgien, and Sheepish (2008).