Donna Ebbs to Head Programming at Hasbro JV Net

Donna Ebbs, lately of ABC Family, has been hired to oversee programming at the planned Hasbro-Discovery Communications channel aimed at kids, the venture said.

Ebbs reports to Margaret Loesch, CEO of the Hasbro-Discovery joint venture. The channel will replace Discovery Kids in about 60 million U.S. TV homes next fall.

Ebbs will be responsible for planning, directing and executing the network's programming strategy, including scheduling, oversight and cost management, as well as working with Loesch and the network's senior management team on creative development and overall strategic planning and direction.

"With a proven track record of developing and producing top-rated children's and family television series and movies, Donna is a perfect choice to head up the programming efforts for this new network," Loesch, who was hired in July, said in a release. "I am thrilled to have Donna join our team and I look forward to working with her to build a high-quality, family-friendly network based on compelling storytelling, strong characters and engaging brands."

With 16 years' experience in developing and producing children's and family entertainment series and movies, Ebbs most recently served as vice president of original programming at ABC Family, where she oversaw movies and specials, including Princess, Santa Baby (I & II), My Fake Fiancé and the highest-rated television movie of 2008, Holiday in Handcuffs, the venture said.

During the 2008-09 season, she also oversaw the third-year series Lincoln Heights, season one of The Middleman and the development and production of the limited series Samurai Girl.

Prior to joining ABC Family, Ebbs was a driving force behind Disney Channel's breakout television movie, High School Musical. Her tenure with ABC/Disney also included serving as vice president of movies for ABC television network, where she was responsible for The Wonderful World of Disney and overseeing family films for the classic television franchise.

Earlier she held senior development and programming roles with King World Productions, Davis Entertainment Television, Goodman/Rosen Productions and Hearst Entertainment.