As part of its continuing growth as a global presence in the animation world, Cartoon Network is re-organizing the various parts of its consumer products business into one big division.
Headed by senior VP John Friend, the newly minted Cartoon Network Enterprises will bring together the networks existing individual domestic and international divisions under one roof. With the selling of toys, books, games and other consumer products related to on-air shows continuing to be a significant part of entertainment conglom revenues in general, Cartoon Networks latest move is no surprise. “John has a keen sense for building businesses, teams and much-needed bridges across divisions of our company that will further Cartoon Network’s position as a powerful global brand,” says Jim Samples, exec. VP and general manager, Cartoon Network. “His appointment is the next important step in continuing a coordinated and focused strategy of expanding our consumer products, home video and DVD, music and games businesses around the world, all in partnership with Warner Bros.”
The restructuring, say company execs, should serve to drive long-term value and financial returns from Cartoon Network properties such as The Powerpuff Girls, Samurai Jack and Codename: Kids Next Door. Specifically, Cartoon Network Enterprises is responsible for Cartoon Network’s consumer products licensing and merchandising, home video, interactive games, publishing, music, on-line shop and collectibles business.
A four-year TBSI veteran, Friend served most recently as senior VP of business development and strategy for Latin America. He was responsible for capitalizing business opportunities and strategic planning surrounding TBSI’s multiple network operations in Latin America, including joint ventures, new channels, partnerships and other new business development. Promoted from VP of business development in November 2000, Friend’s efforts provided the company with new revenue streams and enriched content for the company’s television networks as well as its web sites. One of his most successful projects was planning and overseeing the launch of Boomerang Latin America, a new network devoted exclusive to classic cartoon content.