Continuing the changing of the guard in its upper management ranks, Turner Broadcasting System has tapped Christina Miller to head Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Boomerang.
As president and general manager of the three networks and their digital extensions, Miller has oversight for leading the business in North America and working closely with Turner International to establish short and long-term priorities, as well as an overall worldwide strategic plan that will more closely align the kids business. This role gives Miller global oversight of linear and non-linear content, the consumer products group and franchise management
Rob Sorcher, chief content officer, Cartoon Network and Mike Lazzo, executive vice president/creative director, Adult Swim will report to Miller.
Miller, who has been serving as general manager of NBA Digital and senior vice president of Turner Sports strategy, marketing and promotion, steps into a leadership role that has been vacant since Stuart Snyder exited his post as president and COO of Turner’s former Animation, Young Adults & Kids Media division at the end of March.
She will continue to serve NBA Digital through a transition period over the ensuing weeks. It was unclear at presstime, who would step into that role. NBA Digital, encompassing linear network NBA TV, NBA.com, WNBA.com, NBA League.com, NBA League Pass, as well as the league’s broadband and wireless businesses.is owned by the pro basketball circuit, but operated by Turner. The decision to whom succeeds Miller will be made collaboratively, according to a Turner spokesman.
Snyder’s departure followed a reorganization that saw John Martin become chairman and CEO of Turner and David Levy president of the company in January. Since then, there has been a changing of the guard in the executive suite as Turner Entertainment Networks president Steve Koonin, CNN ad sales chief Greg D’Alba have moved on to new gigs, while longtime chief research officer Jack Wakshlag also stepped down.
Last week, Turner Sports veteran Lenny Daniels was promoted to president, gaining daily oversight of the unit.
The new job returns Miller to Cartoon Network. Before moving into Turner’s sports realm, Miller was senior vice president of Cartoon Network Enterprises, which she joined in 2005, and directed Turner’s youth and young adults consumer products and home video business in the United States, including global licensing partnerships and merchandising strategies and retail business development for Cartoon Network and Adult Swim properties.
Four years later, she was upped to senior vice president of Cartoon Network and Turner Sports strategy, marketing and promotion. In 2011, she left her Cartoon Network responsibilities as she added NBA Digital general manager to her title.
Before joining Turner, Miller served as senior vice president of brand licensing for HIT Entertainment, responsible for brand strategy and licensing for classic preschool brands including Thomas & Friends, Barney, The Wiggles and Bob the Builder.
Cartoon Network is the top U.S. network in primetime among boys 6 to 11 and 9 to 14, and can currently be seen in 385 million homes worldwide and 194 countries. Spinoff service Adult Swim is a Nielsen powerhouse among young adults 18 to 34.
“As we continue to expand and look for growth opportunities in the kids and young adults business, it is imperative that we strategically leverage the brand equity that Cartoon Network has worldwide and continue to build on the tremendous success of Adult Swim,” said Levy, to whom Miller will report. “Christina is a well-respected executive who has had great success growing the NBA Digital business for us and also brings a wealth of experience in leading global brands and franchises in the kids business.”
Noted Miller: “I am very excited to return in this new role to the business that I initially joined Turner for, and look forward to working with Rob, Mike and the great teams at Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Boomerang. These are beloved brands with a passionate following and there’s a tremendous opportunity to continue to grow them domestically and, with guidance from David and Turner International president Gerhard Zeiler, a new focus on alignment and partnership to leverage the global potential of Cartoon Network and Boomerang.”
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