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Nick Names Jill Sanford Animation VP

Nickelodeon Group has tapped former Disney Television Animation executive Jill Sanford as its vice president of animation and development.

Sanford will be responsible for all aspects of development from concept to pilot, including all creative and production, according to Jenna Boyd, Senior Vice President of Animation Development for the Nickelodeon Group, to whom Sanford will report. Additionally, she will help oversee the comedy shorts program and partner withthe group's short form development team to find and shepherd the next generation of animated hits to compliment such iconic shows as Spongebob Squarepants.

Prior to joining Nickelodeon, Sanford held several positions during her nine-year tenure at The Walt Disney Company, where she most recently served as the director of original series for Disney Television Animation. 

“Jill’s creative expertise and proven track record of overseeing animated hits makes her a terrific addition to the Nickelodeon animation team,” said Boyd in a statement. “Her keen eye for identifying unique ideas and talent will be a huge asset as we continue to grow our hit Nick animation brand.”

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.