NBCUniversal named Deirdre Brennan, a longtime producer of kids’ content for a variety of networks around the world, as the new general manger of Sprout, a cable network that has been trying to ramp up its own pipeline of original series.
Brennan will report to Frances Berwick, president of lifestyle networks at NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. She will oversee all aspects of Sprout’s programming, marketing, business strategy and performance. Sprout competes with other kids’ outlets, but aims predominantly for preschoolers – and the parents who watch TV with them.
“Sprout is evolving and growing rapidly as we reinvent our business model to an originals-driven brand, and I’m thrilled to have a leader with Deirdre’s unparalleled experience drive this growth phase,” said Berwick in a statement.
Brennan joins Sprout from Corus Entertainment, where she was vice president of content, overseeing the development, management and execution of the Corus Kids slate of programming, including series made for YTV, Treehouse, Nickelodeon, Teletoon, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD. Prior to joining Corus, she was head of children’s television for, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, leading programming, acquisition and commissioning across Australia’s most successful children’s services. Before that role, she was director of content, Australia & New Zealand for BBC Worldwide. Brennan also served as director of programming, Nickelodeon Australia. She began her career as a presenter and announcer for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
As general manager, Brennan will set the strategy for all network and digital operations, with organizational oversight that includes programming, development, marketing, digital, finance, communications, insights and strategy. She will manage the greenlight process and work closely with producers and international broadcasters as well as with the global creative community to bolster the network’s relationships with top talent, writers, and showrunners. Brennan will also work across all NBCUniversal businesses, including Dreamworks, which was acquired last year, to optimize projects and resources that grow the company’s overall kids strategy.