Kids programming exec Amy Friedman has been named to the newly created position of head of Warner Bros.’ kids and family programming division, where she will oversee creative and strategic guidance for such programming for Cartoon Network and Boomerang, and develop kids and family content for WarnerMedia-owned streamer HBO Max. Separately, Sundance Feniger has been upped to head of digital enterprises at Warner Bros.’ global kids, young adults and classics unit.
This follows Friedman’s appointment in August to senior advisor at the unit, where she had been tasked with assuming programming duties for Cartoon Network Studios head Rob Sorcher, who was transitioning to an overall deal with Warner Bros. Television Group.
The new role means that she will also oversee content portfolio plans, including strategy for new and current series, acquisitions and co-productions for children and family programming across WarnerMedia kids brands. Friedman will also work closely with Warner Bros. Animation and Cartoon Network Studios, which in August were both brought under Warner Bros. animation head Sam Register.
“For all the years I have known Amy, she has always exemplified what it means to be a successful and respected leader in the kids’ sphere,” said Tom Ascheim, the president of Warner Bros.’ global kids, young adults and classics unit. “Her wit and humor rival her sharp creative, business and brand acumen, and she knows what kids of all ages and parents want. In today’s immensely cluttered entertainment space, Amy’s commitment to deeply original, inclusive programming will grow our preschool, kids and family offering across our portfolio of brands.”
Friedman’s exec team will be led by Vishnu Athreya, who oversees programing planning and current series, and Adina Pitt, whose position is expanding to oversee content acquisitions, partnerships and co-productions for the Americas. They’ll both report to Friedman, who will also build a creative team in Los Angeles and New York.
Before her role at the studio, Friedman had previously taken on senior creative management positions at Nickelodeon, Noggin, TeenNick, Scratch, Sprout and Universal Kids. The exec, whose work has garnered multiple Peabody, Beacon, Cable Ace and Creativity Awards, also founded and serves as president of brand creation and content development company Redhead Consulting.
“It’s a thrill to be reunited with Tom, and to join a team of creatives who are rightly respected as the best of the best<” said Friedman. “It’s unusual to feel immediately at home at a place I’ve never been before, but I do! To be part of WarnerMedia’s next chapter of growth and to connect with families through content with heart, comedy and originality is a dream.”
Atlanta-based Feniger, meanwhile, will report to Ascheim and steer the group’s strategy, operations and development of branded digital product through this expanded role.
“Sundance has had great success in growing Boomerang’s streaming service since its launch,” said Ascheim. “His proven track record of driving growth and engagement in a range of direct-to-consumer product offerings will be essential as we tap into our larger digital enterprises banner.”
Feniger is taking on charter direct business strategy, customer acquisition and retention, and operational & financial planning functions for the digital portfolio across Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Adult Swim, TCM, Warner Bros. Animation and Cartoon Network Studios. As the greater company looks to focus on streaming and digital, part of what he’ll be tasked with is “enhancing the user experience” of HBO Max’s kids and family offerings.
Boomerang will remain under Feniger’s purview. Three years ago, he launched oversaw its subscription video streaming service. Prior to that, he served as senior director of production strategy and development at Nickelodeon, managing premium product for Noggin; before that, Feniger held multiple leadership positions with Nickelodeon Games Group in its monetization ops, product management and partnerships for virtual world and MMO games.
“There are incredible opportunities ahead for us to unlock in the interactive and digital space,” said Feniger. “I’m looking forward to working with the world’s greatest storytellers across our kids, young adults and classics brands to bring those experiences to life.”