Former TV Guide Network prexy Ryan O’Hara has been tapped topper of Topps Co., maker of baseball cards and confections.
Gotham-based Topps was purchased in 2007 by Michael Eisner’s Tornante Co. and private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners. The company is known for baseball cards and bubble gum, but it has been trying to expand its brand names, which include Bazooka gum, into entertainment properties.
O’Hara, who will be prexy and CEO, was tasked with helping to “drive growth in media and with interactive initiatives as well as continue to strengthen Topps’ core businesses,” said Eisner, who is chairman of Topps. O’Hara exited TV Guide last week (Daily Variety, Feb. 8).
Among Topps’ entertainment endeavors to date has been the Web serial “Back on Topps,” from Eisner’s Vuguru Internet production shingle. It featured comics Jason Sklar and Randy Sklar.
O’Hara spent eight years with TV Guide and was upped to prexy in 2005. Before that, he worked for BSkyB in London and Fox Sports Net, and he has experience in the confection biz from an earlier exec stint at Nestle USA. O’Hara will relocate from L.A. to Gotham as of March 1.