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Loesch to head Discovery kids channel

Former Fox Kids CEO new topper for net

Former Fox Kids CEO Margaret Loesch has been tapped to head up the kids channel from Discovery Communications and Hasbro.

Loesch will serve as prexy-CEO of the as-yet-unnamed channel, which takes the place of the current Discovery Kids outlet starting in fall 2010.

Exec, who will be based in Los Angeles, assumes the job on Aug. 17.

Loesch said she pursued the gig after learning that she could remain based in Los Angeles, and after talking to Hasbro president-CEO Brian Goldner and Discovery prexy-CEO David Zaslav.

“Hasbro has all these intellectual properties, some of which I’ve been associated with in the past,” she said. “And I thought the idea of these two companies coming together, and their vision to create a new entertainment platform, was unbelievably strong.”

Loesch will handle all business and creative areas of the outlet and will report to the joint venture’s board of directors, which consists of execs from Hasbro and Discovery.

Most recently, Loesch was a partner in media company the Hatchery.

The channel isn’t sitting well with some kids-oriented special interest groups, which have criticized it for a perceived devotion to Hasbro toys and games.

Indeed, initial projects Hasbro said it was targeting for the channel include shows based on “Romper Room,” Tonka, G.I. Joe, Transformers and “My Little Pony.”

But Loesch, whose past outlets have also weathered similar concerns, dismissed those fears.

“This is a criticism and a discussion that I’ve been a part of for almost four decades,” she said. “To make a successful channel, it cannot be one long toy commercial. Not only is it a bad idea from a responsibility perspective, but it’s also a bad idea from a success perspective. Parents won’t embrace it, and kids will see through it.”

First announced in April, the channel will relaunch in almost 60 million homes.

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