Haasz will oversee Cottonwood’s growing North American slate of live-action series and animation, while giving Cottonwood a first refusal on her own TV creations.
“We have known and enjoyed working with Sarah as a broadcaster for over a decade. She has brilliant creative instincts, very much in line with our goal as a company: to produce unique, high end live-action and animation content,” said Cottonwood’s David Michel, Zoé Carrera and Cécile Lauritano in a statement.
“David’s history of creating premium content for pre-school and family audiences will enable me to pursue unique, high quality co-productions to add to Cottonwood’s already robust development slate,” Haasz said.
Haasz’s experience in kids’ media spans both the broadcast and production sides of the industry. Her first 20 years in children’s television were spent as a broadcast executive for top Canadian networks such as YTV, Treehouse TV, CBC Kids, Disney XD Canada, Disney Jr. Canada and, most recently, Family Channel.
Subsequently, she took her industry experience directly to kids TV production, creating original IPs and assisting producers to bring their shows to fruition.
As part of her network portfolio, Haasz was involved in the execution of standout series and movies such as “The Next Step,” “Raising Expectations,” “Backstage,” “Gaming Show,” “Playdate” and “Justin Time.” She was also creative producer for “The Next Step Live On Stage Tour 2015.”
Over the course of her career, Haasz is credited for her work on over 2,000 hours of children’s programming in a variety of genres. She was an instructor at Centennial College in Toronto for the Children’s Entertainment Post Graduate Program and is currently on the board of the Youth Media Alliance.
In 2015, Cottonwood Media partnered with Pascal Breton’s Federation Entertainment to launch Federation Kids & Family, a global distribution division which distributes original content from both companies as well as third-party acquisitions. With offices in L.A. and Paris, Cottonwood Media currently has four series and one feature film in development.