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Amy Friedman Will Lead Programming, Development for NBCU’s Sprout

Chica, the anthropomorphic chicken who entertains preschoolers each day on NBCUniversal’s kiddie-cabler Sprout, has a new boss.

NBCU named Amy Friedman, a veteran of Viacom’s Nickelodeon, as the cable network’s senior VP of programming and development, the latest step by the media conglomerate to bring the kids’ network closer to female-skewing outlets like Bravo and Oxygen. Friedman is expected to start with Sprout on April 1.

She will take over functions held previously by Sandy Wax, the former president of the network, and Andrew Beecham, senior VP of programming. Both executives left in the wake of a February reshuffling of executives at NBCU’s entertainment-focused cable networks that placed Sprout under the aegis of Frances Berwick, who supervises lifestyle-themed cable networks under Bonnie Hammer.

Friedman will be responsible for developing a slate of both animated and live-action projects and will manage the production of the network’s current series. She will also have oversight of Sprout’s “Sunny Side Up Show” a live,  daily morning show for preschoolers and their families that also serves as Chica’s primary roost.

“Her track record speaks volumes – she has launched both successful series and the networks that aired them – and her sensibility and smarts make her a perfect fit for this role,” Berwick said in a prepared statement.

Friedman recently served as a senior adviser for Scratch, an in-house creative team at Viacom, and was president of Redhead Consulting, a branding consultancy.  She has held senior management positions across all of the Nickelodeon networks, including Nickelodeon, Noggin, and TeenNick.  In her role as senior VP of original programming, she steered brand strategy for both Noggin and TeenNick. She got her start on Nickelodeon’s popular “Double Dare” game show in 1987.

She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where she concurrently earned a B.A. degree in American Civilization and an M.A. degree in Education. She serves on the board of advisers for the Children’s Media Association.

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