AOL ups Bird and Sharkey

Execs named sr. VPs at online service

AOL named veteran media execs Malcolm Bird and Tina Sharkey to key programming slots at the online service.

Sharkey will become senior VP of lifestyle and community programming, overseeing personal finance, health, women and home. She will also develop strategic programming such as polls, home pages, message boards, groups and chat rooms that are a major draw for the service’s 35 million users.

Bird will be senior VP-general manager of AOL Kids, devoted to educational and entertainment needs of children online. He will oversee restructuring of the children’s areas, which have been the most popular on the service since its 1989 launch.

Both will report to Jim Bankoff, exec VP of operations for AOL Interactive Services, who said, “Enhancing the content, features and services we provide to our members is one of AOL’s top priorities. Together with our existing team of world-class professionals, they will bring a new dimension to the AOL experience.”

Bird is an Emmy winner who has spent 15 years producing children’s content for TV and radio. He took part in the launches of Nickelodeon U.K., TeleMonteCarlo in Italy and Miami USA Network, and he worked at Cartoon Network, Hanna-Barbera/Turner Entertainment and the BBC. Most recently he produced “Operation Junkyard” on the Discovery Kids network. He also was an exec VP for production and development for Craftsman Prods.

Sharkey, too, is a 15-year media vet, working most recently as a principal at Majestic Partners, a New York consultancy. She previously was group president of Sesame Workshop’s Online Services, running the online version of Sesame Street. She co-founded femme-oriented online portal iVillage, and she was an exec at Q2, the home-shopping sister to QVC. Sharkey also worked three years at Frankfurt Balkind, managing corporate brand strategies for several technology and entertainment companies.

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