Toymaker puts films, TV shows, shortform entertainment under exec's oversight
With Hasbro increasing exposure for its toys through films, TV and online shorts, the company is putting oversight of its various entertainment divisions under Hasbro Studios president Stephen Davis.Davis has primarily shepherded global TV development, production and distribution for the toymaker since Hasbro Studios was launched in 2009. Many of those projects — “Transformers Prime,” “Littlest Pet Shop” and “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic” — play on the Hub, the U.S. TV network for kids and families that is a joint venture of Hasbro and Discovery Communications. Under the reorg, Davis will now also lead Hasbro’s film group in Los Angeles and the company’s Rhode Island-based studio responsible for producing the company’s commercials and shortform content. “We are in the early stages of unlocking the full power of Hasbro brands globally, and this new group will capitalize on our talent and creativity on both coasts,” Davis said. “We are now in a tremendous position to expand our content and storytelling more impactfully across all screens around the world.” On the film front, Hasbro has “Transformers 4,” with Paramount; “Stretch Armstrong,” with Relativity Media; and “Candy Land,” set up with Sony. “Monopoly” and “Hungry Hungry Hippos” are set up at Emmett/Furla Films. Move is seen as a way to better integrate Hasbro’s content initiatives with the company’s entertainment and global marketing teams. Bennett Schneir, senior VP of motion pictures, and Terry Scott, senior VP of Cake Mix Studio, in Rhode Island, will now report to Davis. Davis reports to Hasbro chief marketing officer John Frascotti. “We are bringing together several of our entertainment groups so that we can fully drive our content development capabilities across our global franchises,” Frascotti said. “Stephen is the perfect choice to lead this important new initiative. In just three years, he has made significant contributions to strengthening the company’s global brands by propelling Hasbro Studios into one of the world’s most successful producers of animation and live-action programming.” Before joining Hasbro, Davis led ITV Studios America-predecessors Granada America and Carlton America; mobile and online digital media company InfoSpace; and TV production-distribution company Hamdon Entertainment, a joint venture of Carlton and Studio Hamburg. He also oversaw TV programming, motion picture, live entertainment, new media and entertainment-related activities for Merv Griffin’s the Griffin Group. In addition he was CEO of Hasbro’s Family Entertainment Group.