March saw the spinoff of Disney Junior from a block on the Disney Channel to its own 24/7 network, quickly scoring No. 1 and 2 slots among kids ages 2-5 with original programming “Doc McStuffins” and “Jake and the Never Land Pirates.” Kanter plans to develop a multi-platform experience for even the youngest TV watchers, who don’t feel tied to timeslots and want immersion in their favorite programs on their schedule.
What we should know: “Most people outside the industry assume that making kids TV for a preschool audience is fast and easy, but it’s anything but. We know how impressionable they are, and for kids that age the distinction between real life and TV can be blurry. We take that seriously. We want to be entertaining, while still giving out good messages.”
Words of wisdom: “If you are true to who you are and recognize you’re in an industry that has a lot of expectations, you need to be able to work with all sorts of different people. But trying to morph yourself into someone who is not organically who you are will probably not make you successful.”
Smartphone habits: “I take my phone on vacation and I tell my family I’ll check it once a day, which I do — and then I also do whenever my husband is in the bathroom.”
Life-work balance: “I love the work I do, and I think it’s incredibly important, but it is television. It’s not finding world peace or curing hunger. I try to keep that in mind when I have to choose something at work and something in my family. My family takes priority. My kids are older now, but you’re still needed as a mom.”
Charitable passion: “I’m a longtime supporter of Reading Is Fundamental, going back to when I was in college and volunteered to read to kids.”