Christina Miller has been named prexy-g.m. of Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Boomerang and their digital offshoots.
The move marks a big jump for the exec who was most recently senior VP of g.m. of Turner Sports’ strategy, marketing and programing unit and g.m. of NBA Digital, which Turner runs in partnership with the league. She previously worked for Cartoon Network as head of its consumer products unit. She reports to Turner Broadcasting prez David Levy.
Miller’s appointment follows the departure in March of Stuart Snyder as president of Turner’s animation, young adult and kids media wing — a move spurred by the shakeup at the top with John Martin succeeding Phil Kent earlier this year as Turner’s chairman-CEO.
Levy emphasized his focus on taking a more global approach to the management of Cartoon Network. Miller will work closely with Turner Intl. president Gerhard Zeiler in plotting strategy for the channels, which are distributed in some form in 194 countries. Rob Sorcher, chief content officer of Cartoon Network, and Adult Swim boss Mike Lazzo will report to Miller.
“Cartoon Network is a big, big brand and with Gerhard we were looking for a structure that would make us more globally aligned from a franchise management and consumer licensing perspective,” Levy told Variety. “Christina is the perfect fit because she understands digital, she understands consumer licensing and she understands how to deal with a lot of different partners with different opinions,” having worked with NBA owners for the past few years, Levy said.
Miller is tasked with expanding the Cartoon group’s digital operations and consumer products licensing programs. She has also a mandate to work more closely on coordinated program launches and merchandising programs for various Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Boomerang properties. Boosting the profile of Boomerang, the vintage toon net, at home and abroad, is another key priority.
“The scope of this role that operates across all of our networks with a global look at all screens and all touch points for consumers is exciting to me,” Miller said. “It’s also very special for me to be able to come back to Cartoon Network where I started with this company.”
Cartoon Network generally has a smaller audience than its chief TV rivals, Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. But it has major muscle with boys in the 2-11 age range, and that gives it a premium with marketers and consumer products partners. Adult Swim has a strong grip on the 18-24 and 18-34 demos, which makes it a good testing ground for digital content offerings.
Adult Swim is also expanding steadily in the live events business with its touring “Adult Swim Fun House” and “Meatwad Dome Experience” installations, among other efforts.
“There are huge growth opportunities for all of our brands now that we’re going to be more globally aligned and able to make strategically smarter decisions about programming, about when to roll out properties and how to manage our biggest franchises,” Levy said.
Miller joined the Cartoon Network Enterprises division in 2005 and spearheaded Cartoon Network’s push into the toy market. She took on her split Turner Sports/NBA Digital duties in 2011. Before coming to Turner, Miller was senior VP of brand licensing for Hit Entertainment, home of kidvid hits “Barney,” “Bob the Builder,” “The Wiggles” and “Thomas and Friends.”