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Lisa Judson leaves WB Animation

Exec exits after only 10 months in the position

Lisa Judson is exiting as head of Warner Bros. Animation after only 10 months in the position, with her responsibilities to be consolidated under Warner Bros. Television prexy Peter Roth.

Studio confirmed the shift, saying Judson intended to return to New York, from which she relocated to take the job. The gig had represented a significant leap for Judson, who prior to Warner Bros. served as senior VP of marketing at AOL. Before that she worked for Nickelodeon.

In addition to the studio’s primetime production and Warner Horizon Television, Roth will add oversight of all non-feature animation to his plate. That includes series such as “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” for the Time Warner-owned Cartoon Network, straight-to-DVD projects, online/new media animation, and creating live-action series based on WB’s animated franchises.

Warner Bros. is currently producing fewer original animated series than in the past. That’s in part because the CW network — of which WB owns half — is joining the trend of outsourcing its Saturday-morning children’s programming by brokering the time to an outside supplier.

Still, the company’s ownership of DC Comics and Cartoon Network — as well as the lucrative merchandising of those characters — continues to make animation a priority. In September, Warner Bros. announced plans for a “fully immersive and customizable online world,” called T-Works, to showcase and leverage those assets. That venture is expected to officially launch at the end of this month.

For Roth, the expansion of duties marks a sort-of return to his roots. One of the exec’s first jobs was in children’s programming during a decade-long stint at ABC, beginning in the mid-1970s. The studio noted that Roth wouldn’t officially start with animation until June 1, allowing him to focus on primetime development in advance of the major networks’ upfront presentations in May.

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