SEIBERT RE-JOINS MTV NETS

Fred Seibert, who was Hanna-Barbera prexy for five years, has signed an exclusive deal with MTV Networks to produce animated and live-action programs for Nickelodeon, MTV and VH1.

The multipronged production arrangement will begin with Seibert developing an animated series for Nickelodeon and consulting with VH1 on programming, on-air promotion and marketing.

The pact is another example of Nickelodeon’s recent penchant for locking up talent with exclusive deals, in the hopes of continuing its kidvid dominance into the next century.

It also marks Seibert’s return to MTV Networks, having served as a member of the team that launched MTV in 1980. In that role, he developed the animated, ever-evolving MTV logo, the look of the network IDs and the net’s promotional brand.

“After five years away, it is thrilling to be accepted into (MTV Networks’) generous amnesty program,” Seibert quipped.

While at Hanna-Barbera, Seibert was credited with launching its most extensive animated shorts program in the past 30 years, with the “World Premiere Shorts” series that ran on Turner’s Cartoon Network and led to the launch of such series as “Dexter’s Laboratory” and the upcoming”Cow & Chicken.”

He left the toon giant in the Time Warner-Turner merger late last year. MTV chairman-CEO Tom Freston called Seibert “one of the great creative forces behind our success. Fred has had tremendous experience and success in the worlds of animation and brand-building, two cornerstones of our company.

“As we now accelerate our investment in animation, we are tapping a huge talent with Fred.”

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