Cartoon Network veteran Michael Ouweleen has been promoted to president of Adult Swim.
Ouweleen has been with Cartoon Network and Adult Swim for more than 20 years, most recently in the role of chief marketing officer for Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Boomerang.
Cartoon Network and Adult Swim operations were moved out of Turner and under the Warner Bros. umbrella following AT&T’s acquisition of parent company Time Warner in 2018. In November, Ouweleen was tapped as interim head of Warner Bros. Kids, Young Adults and Classics unit. Earlier this month, former Freeform president Tom Ascheim was named president of that division.
Ouweleen will report to Ascheim and Warner Bros. chairman-CEO Ann Sarnoff. He will continue to be based in Atlanta.
“It’s fitting that Michael has been named head of Adult Swim as he was one of the platform’s founders,” Sarnoff said. “He’s got animated blood running through his veins, and his humor and comedic sensibilities are a big part of Adult Swim’s success. This promotion is most deserved and will help us strategically grow this crucial part of our young adult business.”
Ouweleen was a key player in the creation of Adult Swim, which became its own network in 2001 as an effort to draw an older audience in primetime and late-night hours on Cartoon Network. Ouweleen created one of Adult Swim’s first original series, “Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law,” which featured Stephen Colbert and Gary Cole among its voice cast.
Ouweleen will oversee all aspects of Adult Swim’s operations. Warner Bros. aims to rev up the brand with live events and Adult Swim-related mobile games and digital products. Ouweleen will also be tasked with expanding the brand’s global distribution and production capabilities.