(March 20, 2001 – Burbank, CA) - Effective April 16, Sander Schwartz takes over the reins as President, Warner Bros. Animation, as Jean MacCurdy becomes a Creative Consultant for the Studio, it was announced today by Barry Meyer, Chairman & CEO, Warner Bros. and Sandy Reisenbach, Executive Vice President, Marketing & Planning, Warner Bros. Schwartz takes over responsibility for the Studio’s physical production of theatrical, television, direct-to-video and classic animation, as well as oversight of creative development for television and direct-to-video animated programming. Schwartz is also charged with overseeing the animated utilization and adaptation of Warner Bros.’ classic library characters for non-programming uses (e.g., commercials, PSAs, Internet, interactive devices), working closely with the appropriate divisions. Schwartz will also work closely with Lorenzo di Bonaventura, President, Worldwide Production, Warner Bros. Pictures, who is responsible for the creative development and production of all theatrical films for the Studio, including animated films based on new characters as well as the Studio’s classic Looney Tunes, DC Comics and Hanna-Barbera characters. “Sander is one of the most respected, most successful executives in children’s programming today,” said Meyer. “Jean has wanted to step away from the day-to-day operational rigors of running a division for some time and concentrate on the creative side of programming, but we convinced her to stay until we could find someone who could carry on her ethic of excellence and achievement. We were very fortunate to convince Sander to join us, and no one is happier about this than Jean.” Following a transition period, MacCurdy will focus her energies on creative development of animated and live-action programming for kids in all media, and will continue to work closely with Reisenbach on Warner Bros.’ general kids initiative. “Jean has set a standard that few could uphold,” said Reisenbach. “We have had the good fortune to have worked with Sander as a supplier of great programming to Kids’ WB!,” and we know of no one more qualified or capable to fill Jean’s shoes and carry on Warner Bros.’ tradition of excellence.” “My years at Sony Pictures Entertainment and Columbia Pictures Television have been terrific, but I couldn’t pass up this once in a lifetime opportunity to work with and extend so many of the most important brands and characters in animation history,” said Schwartz. “I grew up watching Warner Bros. Animation, I have always loved it and the chance to work with Warner Bros. Animation is a dream come true. Jean has set the bar high, and I am committed to continuing her legacy.” “I’ve had an incredible run and feel truly blessed to have worked with the best in the business on some of the best animation ever created,” said MacCurdy. “I am doubly blessed to be able to continue to create kids’ programming as a member of the Warner Bros. family and turn over the remarkable Warner Bros. Animation team to someone of Sanders’ caliber and integrity.” Schwartz comes to Warner Bros. from Sony Pictures Family Entertainment (SPFE), where for the past two years he served as the division’s first President, responsible for creating character-based entertainment targeted to the all-family audience, overseeing the development, production, marketing and worldwide distribution of the division’s television and direct-to-video titles. Under Schwartz, SPFE produced traditional cel animation, 3-D CGI animation and live-action properties, including such current hits as “Jackie Chan Adventures,” “Max Steel” and “Men in Black: The Series” for Kids’ WB!; “Dragon Tales” (co-produced with Sesame Workshop) on PBS’s Ready to Learn block; “Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles,” “Jumanji” and “Extreme Ghostbusters” airing in syndication. In 1995, four years prior to the formation of SPFE, Schwartz established and oversaw Columbia TriStar Television Children’s Programming. During that period, CTTCP produced eleven series with over 450 half-hours of syndicated and network programming, shaping Sony Pictures Entertainment into a preeminent supplier of quality animation and children’s programming. Schwartz has also supervised the production of such popular children’s series as “Beakman’s World,” “Channel Umptee-3” and game shows for children including “JEP!” and “Wheel of Fortune 2000.” A graduate of Northwestern University School of Law, Schwartz joined Columbia Pictures Television in 1989 as Vice President, Business Affairs. Prior to that, he served as Senior Vice President of TMS Entertainment, where he was responsible for the sales, distribution and production of TMS’ television programs and feature films. He served as Executive in Charge of Production on TMS’ animated programs and on the theatrical feature film “Little Nemo.” Prior to TMS, Schwartz held business affairs positions at Walt Disney Television and CBS Entertainment in New York and Los Angeles, where he oversaw business transactions related to Saturday morning series and specials. He also was involved in setting up CBS’ first in-house animated series, the highly acclaimed “CBS Storybreak,” based on classic children’s tales inspired by literature from around the world. Schwartz currently serves on the Board of Directors of BKNI AG, and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ International Council. Warner Bros. consolidated its animation activities under MacCurdy’s aegis in 1999, and she became the first President of Warner Bros. Animation. She moved into this new role after having served as the first President of Warner Bros. Television Animation since 1992, credited with the division’s astounding success, having transformed an all-but-dormant operation into one of the leading producers of television animation. Under her watch, Warner Bros. Family Entertainment released the highly acclaimed animated feature “Iron Giant” and produced the highly anticipated upcoming feature “Osmosis Jones.” In television, animated series created and produced under her guidance have been honored with 28 Emmy Awards, the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award, an Environmental Media Award and numerous Annie Awards (honoring excellence in animation). They include: “Steven Spielberg Presents Tiny Toon Adventures,” “Steven Spielberg Presents Animaniacs,” “Steven Spielberg Presents Pinky & The Brain,” “The Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries,” “Batman,” “Superman,” “Batman Beyond,” “Static Shock” and “The Zeta Project.” She was also responsible for producing a number of popular, top-selling direct-to-video titles, including “Batman & Mr. Freeze: Subzero,” “Scooby-Doo On Zombie Island,” “Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders,” “Steven Spielberg Presents Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation,” “Steven Spielberg Presents Animaniacs: Wakko’s Wish,” and “Tweety’s High-Flying Adventures,” among others. One of the animation industry's most respected and prolific creative executives, MacCurdy began her career in 1974 in the Children's Programming department at the NBC Television Network. In 1979, she joined Warner Bros. Cartoons as Director of Animation Programming and in 1982, was promoted to Vice President and General Manager of Warner Bros. Cartoons, serving as the executive in charge of production on a number of animated series. In 1983, MacCurdy was named Vice President, Children's Programs at Hanna-Barbera Productions, where she was involved in the production of more than 400 episodes, specials and telefilms; and in 1987 she moved to Marvel Productions as Vice President, Programming. In 1988, MacCurdy returned to Warner Bros. Television Animation as Vice President and General Manager and three years later was named Senior Vice President and General Manager. Concurrent with her responsibilities as President of Warner Bros. Television Animation, she launched and helped build the top-rated Kids’ WB!
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