Hit Entertainment chief quits

Dunn takes charge

LONDON — The CEO of U.K. children’s specialist, Hit Entertainment, has resigned from the company after three years in the job.

Bruce Steinberg, a former topper at Fox Kids Europe and general manager at paybox BSkyB, is making way for former Nickelodeon high-flyer Jeffrey D. Dunn, who takes over immediately.

Steinberg’s surprise departure comes as Hit, one of Blighty’s so-called “super-indies,” attempts to beef up its activities in the U.S., its largest market, and increase business in other global territories.

Significantly Dunn, former COO of Nickelodeon Networks and one time prexy of Nickelodeon Film and Enterprises, will be based in New York, but will divide his time between the U.S. and the shingle’s London offices.

Hit’s non-executive chairman, Greg Dyke, said in a statement: “The board would like to thank Bruce for his enormous contribution to the company.

“He has led considerable change in the business and provided Hit with a strong platform for future growth. We wish him well.”

Steinberg and Dyke, the veteran British TV topper who has headed the BBC, ITV combo London Weekend Television and Pearson TV, were hired when private equity combo Apax bought Hit for around $900 million three years ago.

Dunn is being brought on board because of his international experience, especially in the U.S., where Hit runs pre-school channel Sprout with PBS.

During his 13 years at Nickelodeon, Dunn created the Noggin joint venture with Sesame Workshop, and built Nickelodeon Enterprises into an operation with global clout.

Paul Fitzsimons, a partner at Apax Partners, said: “For the past two years we have worked closely with Jeff as part of our Media Advisory Board. He combines a strong strategic focus with significant global operating experience in all areas of Hit’s business.”

Hit’s properties include “Barney” and “Bob the Builder.”

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