Weekly E-News, Issue #180, September 26, 2006

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Corus Entertainment Announces New Structure
Corus Entertainment Inc. created a new organizational structure for its television and content divisions, focusing on two strategic portfolios. Nelvana Studios will be integrated into the new kids' portfolio with Scott Dyer named executive vice president, general manager, kids', and responsible for overseeing YTV, Treehouse, Discovery Kids Canada, and Nelvana Studios. In addition, newly created Nelvana Enterprises, a separate business unit, will focus on leveraging Corus' intellectual property internationally with Doug Murphy taking on the role of president. A new lifestyle, drama, and movies portfolio for the television division also was created, with Movie Central, W Network, CMT, and Scream integrated into one portfolio, and the consolidation of Movie Central's operations into Corus' Toronto broadcast center. Heading up the new portfolio are Susan Ross as executive vice president, general manager, and Andrew Eddy as vice president, program strategy and investment. As a result of this new structure, Movie Central operations in Edmonton will be integrated into the Corus facilities in Toronto. Corus expects all changes resulting from the new organizational structure to be completed by January 2007, as well as the elimination of 83 jobs. Other executive changes for Corus Kids: Phil Piazza becomes vice president, programming and business development;
 Jocelyn Hamilton becomes vice president, creative; Irene Weibel becomes vice president, international; and Helen Lebeau becomes vice president, studio operations.

New TRU Campaign Is a Big Deal
Toys "R" Us launches its first-ever integrated marketing campaign supporting NBC show Deal or No Deal with newspaper circulars, TV ads, in-store displays, and a contest. Howie Mandel will be at the TRU Times Square store Thursday, September 28, at 1 p.m. to kick off the national promotion and officially open the store's Deal or No Deal game boutique, which includes a board game from Pressman; The Interactive DVD Game Show from Imagination; an electronic game and electronic handheld game from Irwin Toy; and a card game from Cardinal Industries. Starting October 1 and continuing through October 28, customers can participate in a retail version of the game using a game piece found in newspaper circulars that features two suitcases: one for "Deal" and one for "No Deal." Each week, customers can bring their circular to any location to select either the "Deal"–an automatic 10 percent off any one item–or take their chances and choose "No Deal"–trying their luck to win $1 million or hundreds of thousands of other prizes, including an Xbox 360, MP3 player, and Toys "R" Us gift cards. If the briefcase comes up empty, customers still receive an in-store discount.

Long-Time Partners Form Joint Venture
Ragdoll formed a joint venture company with its broadcast partner, BBC Worldwide, called Ragdoll Worldwide Ltd. The new company will permit both Ragdoll and BBC Worldwide to collaborate and capitalize on their respective strengths around the world to maximize the potential of Ragdoll's properties. The pair will work together to take advantage of Ragdoll's current catalog and launch two new properties, In the Night Garden and Tronji. Ragdoll now is in the final stages of completing both series, which will air in the UK on BBC in 2007. BBC Worldwide will manage the international broadcast sales and the UK and international licensing of all Ragdoll properties including: Blips, Boohbah, Brum, Tots TV, Rosie and Jim, and the Open a Door series on behalf of the new joint venture. Ragdoll retains all UK broadcast rights, and Ragdoll USA Inc., part of the new joint venture, will manage the Ragdoll portfolio in North America.

Nickelodeon Connects with Parents via Online Initiative
Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group are launching ParentConnect, an online community where parents and caregivers can share advice and activities by their kids' ages and stages, city/location, and personal interests. Each parent can develop a unique, customized home page, as well as discussion boards. The ParentsConnect communities are led by Host Parents, a team of 20 trained moderators who are parents, chosen for their backgrounds, life experiences, and writing abilities. In addition, ParentsConnect members may set up their own blogs and profile pages, as well as search member profiles and recommend articles or links to information they consider useful to other parents. In fourth quarter 2006, ParentsConnect will launch ParentsConnect TV, and will become one of the first sites of its kind to include broadband video with user-submitted content. It also will roll out local discussion boards, user-created polls and clubs, newsletters based on specific community interests, and enhanced social networking features.

Disney Brings Consumer Electronics Offerings to the Max
Disney will amp up its consumer electronics offerings next month with the Disney Mix Max personal digital media player. The Disney Mix Max (suggested retail, less than $100) plays movies on Disney Max Clips, tiny plug 'n play memory cards containing full-length movies from Buena Vista Home Entertainment, as well as plays digital music, TV shows, and digital photos. Disney also expands its Mix line with the Disney Mix Micro player, as well as 10 new music titles on Disney Mix Clips including the High School Musical soundtrack and music from Hollywood Records. The Disney Mix Stick Player
also has been enhanced and now has upgraded storage of 512 MB, on-demand "MixIt!" playlists, and new designs.

MODA Takes on Electronics Brand
Audiovox Corporation appointed MODA International Marketing, Inc., exclusive worldwide licensing agency for its electronics brands: Audiovox, Acoustic Research, Jensen, Advent, and Terk. MODA will seek licensees in a variety of electronics, appliances, and lifestyle-related categories.

Rocky Initiative Off to a Smooth Start
Amid a flurry of official "Rocky Week" events, including a look-alike contest, a boxing match, and the Rocky statue rededication ceremony in its new permanent home at the Philadelphia Art Museum, Jakks Pacific, Inc., unveiled its limited-edition bronze Rocky statue action figure last week in Philadelphia to help support the City's Hero Scholarship Fund, Ronald McDonald House Charities, and Children's Hospitals. Jakks Pacific plans to distribute 1,000 statue figures to the people of Philadelphia, including patients at Children's Hospitals in Philadelphia, children of fallen police officers and firefighters through the Hero Scholarship Fund, and families staying at local Ronald McDonald Houses. Fans and collectors also can register to win the figures through CBS radio station 1250 AM, The Big Talker. A toy line, based on existing films and the upcoming Rocky Balboa, launches in December and will include more than 50 action figures, playsets, accessories, role-play items, and sports toys.

Coelho to Pen Five Books
Susie Coelho and Cool Springs Press partnered on a five-book series on personal style in a deal brokered by The Beanstalk Group. The first book by the lifestyle expert, HGTV host, and best-selling author, "Secrets of a Style Diva: A Get-Inspired Guide to Your Creative Side," recently hit shelves. A line of garden gloves and accessories under the name Susie Coelho Outdoor is due in spring 2007.

Marc Ecko Puts Callanen on Watch List
Marc Ecko Enterprises signed a multi-year extension of its licensing agreement with Callanen International, a wholly owned subsidiary of Timex Inc., for watches and the completion of an agreement for a new line of Avirex-branded watches. Callanen will develop, market, and distribute the fashion watches through various domestic and international retail and specialty stores, while the Avirex line will be offered exclusively in the U.S.

PorchLight Entertainment Secures Partner in Mexico
PorchLight Entertainment signed the Tycoon Entertainment Group as the licensing agent for Jay Jay the Jet Plane throughout Mexico. Tycoon also secured the video rights to the Jay Jay 90-episode library and anticipates releasing the first two videos regionally in the first quarter of 2007.

Mattel Consolidates Barbie Oral-Care Portfolio
Mattel is consolidating all of its Barbie oral health-care business as part of a new licensing partnership with Procter & Gamble. As part of the alliance, the pair will produce Barbie-branded oral health-care products, including Crest brand toothpaste. The co-branded Crest/Barbie oral-care product line will be available spring 2007. In other news, the Mattel Children's Foundation awarded domestic grants of $400,000 to 37 nonprofit children's organizations in 21 states.

Comic Strip Inspires Toy Line
Dark Horse Deluxe joined forces with Mutts creator Patrick McDonnell, King Features Syndicate, and Yoe! Studio on a four-piece set of PVC figures from the comic strip. Earl, Mooch, Shtinky, and Guard Dog will appear in the initial set, while Earl and Mooch will appear again later this year as larger roto-cast vinyl figures.

LeapFrog Extends Brand with New Relationships
LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc., created an outbound licensing strategy to extend its brand into a variety of retail channels. First products are already on shelves and include games from Cardinal Industries, puzzles from MasterPieces, educational supplements including workbooks from Learning Horizons, books from Scholastic, infant and developmental products from Sassy, and apparel from Kids Headquarters. Brandgenuity LLC negotiated the licensing relationship between LeapFrog and its licensees.

Cartoon Network Fans Treated to DVDs
Warner Home Video is ringing in the holidays with the release of Cartoon Network Christmas: Vol. 3, as well as Ed, Edd 'n Eddy: The Complete First Season (suggested retail, $19.98) on DVD due on shelves October 10. New on shelves this month are Cartoon Network Halloween: Volume 3 and Cartoon Network Fridays: Volume 1. The holiday DVDs retail for $14.97 and will be supported by an on-air and online campaign.

MobileSidewalk Mobilizes Deals
MobileSidewalk secured mobile content deals with TheSportsPage and RestaurantRow.com. For TheSportsPage, the company will provide sports information directly to the cell phones of sports fans, while foodies will receive menus, photos of restaurant interiors, reviews, and door-to-door driving directions as subscribers of Restaurantrow.com when the service launches in the third quarter.

Donald Beefs Up Licensed Portfolio
The Trump Organization beefed up its licensing portfolio, signing deals with Buckhead Beef and Badanco Enterprises. A line of Trump Steaks will be available via an exclusive Website, some specialty stores located in Trump properties, and some exposure in the premium market. The company's deal with Badanco Enterprises Inc. will add luggage and travel goods to the Donald J. Trump Signature Collection. Badanco will manufacture and market luggage, including business cases, garment bags, and travel accessories. Luggage and business cases will launch at Macy's during the upcoming holiday season.

Execs on the Move
FremantleMedia Licensing Worldwide promoted Keith Hindle to executive vice president, FLW, North America. David Luner moves up to senior vice president, consumer products, FLW, North America, while James Ngo was named director of licensing, FLW, North America. Missy Farren & Associates, Ltd., named Lucille Grippo account supervisor for the Williamsburg Products Group. Dependable Solutions, Inc., named Holly Royer director of client services.


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Blue Crush Opportunity
The Blue Crush clothing license is for sale–a chance to own and create a clothing line from a name known throughout the world. Women's, juniors', bikinis, kids'–the possibilities are wide open. ALL serious offers will be considered. Contact Bill Ballard at 808.638.5568 or e-mail mailto:bill@billygoatproductions.com.

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