Jennifer Dodge, who has been a VP and executive producer for Toronto’s Spin Master Entertainment, will join the kid-media outlet as senior VP of West Coast development and production of Nickelodeon Preschool.
Dodge will be based in Nickelodeon’s Animation Studio in Burbank, Calif., and is expected to lead West Coast-based development of all original content for Nickelodeon preschool’s programming block and the Nick Jr. channel, as well as additional preschool platforms, such as the Nick Jr app. Dodge will report to Russell Hicks, Nickelodeon’s president of production and development.
Though Spin Master is best known as a producer of toys and kids’ novelty products, it is understood Nickelodeon does not anticipate Dodge’s hire to result in a backing away from a development process that relies heavily on emphasizing educational development. Rather, Dodge could prove instrumental in helping the company identify properties that could be ripe for extension into consumer products and other outlets.
Dodge joined Spin Master in 2009, and was the driving force in greenlighting more than 200 episodes of animation, including the launch of boys’ action properties “RedaKai” and “Tenkai Knights.” She led Spin Master’s foray into preschool with the hit “PAW Patrol,” which airs on Nickelodeon. Dodge is co-creator and executive producer of the recently launched preschool show “Little Charmers,” a co-production with Nelvana for Treehouse in Canada and Nick Jr. worldwide.
Before joining Spin Master, Dodge was VP of distribution and sales operations for Cookie Jar Entertainment, now part of DHX Media, and director, production and development, for Decode Entertainment.
The move suggest that Viacom may be looking to fill some executive slots, even though the company has recently been cutting staff as part of a corporate restructuring.