WILDBRAIN ANNOUNCES EXECUTIVE APPOINTMENTS TO FUEL NEW BUSINESS, CREATIVITY AND INTEGRATION
Former Mattel, Fullscreen and 20th Century Fox executive Damon Berger named to newly created role of Chief Marketing Officer
Stephanie Betts appointed Chief Content Officer
Deirdre Brennan appointed Chief Operating Officer
Halifax, NS – September 21, 2021 – WildBrain Ltd. (“WildBrain” or the “Company”) (TSX: WILD), a global leader in kids’ and family entertainment, announces that Damon Berger has joined the company in the newly created position of Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), Stephanie Betts has been promoted to Chief Content Officer (CCO) and Deirdre Brennan has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer (COO).
Damon Berger, Chief Marketing Officer
In the role of CMO, Berger will drive new business and revenue through opportunities in media sales, social commerce and digital marketing. He will be developing best-in-class partnerships and client services that leverage WildBrain’s extensive portfolio of capabilities, assets and IP, as well as the Company’s international leadership position in the kids’ and family entertainment space.
With an initial focus on harnessing WildBrain Spark’s massive global audience on YouTube and YouTube Kids, Berger will build and lead an international team of digital marketing specialists, working with groups across the global WildBrain organization to identify and exploit new commercial opportunities in the consumer-facing digital space. Prior to joining WildBrain, Berger held executive positions in marketing and business development at Mattel, Fullscreen, What’s Trending and 20th Century Fox, specializing in building digital-first organizations, in addition to creating high-value partnerships with some of the biggest companies in the entertainment and technology spaces. He reports to WildBrain CEO, Eric Ellenbogen.
Stephanie Betts, Chief Content Officer
In her elevated role as CCO, Betts is responsible for overseeing WildBrain’s content slate, cultivating an artist-led culture of creativity and talent in both animation and live-action production at WildBrain Studios. As CCO, she will focus on creative excellence across development, production and studio operations, drawing on her considerable experience in launching such notable WildBrain series as Snoopy in Space; The Snoopy Show; Strawberry Shortcake’s Berry in the Big City; Go, Dog. Go!; Chip & Potato; Degrassi and many more. Betts reports to WildBrain President, Josh Scherba.
Deirdre Brennan, Chief Operating Officer
Also reporting to Scherba, Brennan takes on an expanded remit to integrate the Company’s leading AVOD network, WildBrain Spark, into her existing portfolio of content and distribution operations across WildBrain’s global organization. In her role of COO, Brennan will continue her oversight of the Company’s Distribution and Television businesses and align the WildBrain Spark business within this portfolio, extending continuity for WildBrain’s holistic content strategy across the group.
Ellenbogen said: “We have made great strides in the last two years aligning all the parts of our business to respond to the opportunities in the evolving media landscape. These executive appointments build on those successes, with Damon joining the team to push into new opportunities and emerging revenue streams in the advertising and direct-to-consumer space; Stephanie bringing her passion for creative excellence to an expanded role at our studio; and Deirdre continuing the important work she’s done integrating our content and distribution operations. There are exciting times ahead for our audiences and investors as we continue to activate our incredible vault of IP.”
Due to this management realignment, the role of Managing Director at WildBrain Spark will no longer exist and, as a result, Jon Gisby will be leaving the Company.
Ellenbogen continued: “We are grateful to Jon for his passion and commitment. Under his leadership WildBrain Spark became a leading global distributor of premium kids’ content with gold-standard capabilities in content creation, ad sales, data science and digital brand building. Now is the right time to further integrate these capabilities across the group, and all of Jon’s colleagues join me in wishing him the best.”
About Damon Berger
Damon Berger is a senior digital media executive with a proven track record of success across Fortune 500 companies and startups. At Mattel, Berger was Vice President, Head of Digital Engagement, overseeing social and video platforms and the creation of short-form entertainment for toys, dolls, action figures and games. He was also responsible for digital influencer relationships and content for Mattel’s brands.
At Fullscreen, Berger served as Vice President of Global Strategic Partnerships, responsible for developing cross-divisional teams to drive large-scale, high-revenue enterprise partnerships with Fortune 500 companies. He spearheaded and closed the largest third-party partnership in Fullscreen’s history. He also served as Vice President of Business Development and managed relationships with social platforms such as YouTube, Facebook and Snapchat; created new business initiatives including shoppable videos and virtual reality; and expanded the reach of Fullscreen through international media partnerships.
Berger was also founding CEO of What’s Trending, a primetime Emmy-nominated news network on YouTube covering trending videos and personalities, where he forged partnerships with major platforms including YouTube, HLN, Yahoo! and Virgin America.
At 20th Century Fox, he was Director of Digital Marketing where he created and implemented the digital marketing strategy and domestic campaigns for major motion picture releases and executed award-winning content, new technology and media partnerships in support of 20th Century Fox movies.
For more information, please contact:
Media: Shaun Smith – Director, Corporate & Trade Communications, WildBrain
Investor Relations: Nancy Chan-Palmateer – Director, Investor Relations, WildBrain
At WildBrain we inspire imaginations to run wild, engaging kids and families everywhere with great content across all media. With approximately 13,000 half-hours of filmed entertainment in our library – one of the world’s most extensive – we are home to such brands as Peanuts, Teletubbies, Strawberry Shortcake, Caillou, Inspector Gadget, Johnny Test and Degrassi. At our 75,000-square-foot state-of-the-art animation studio in Vancouver, BC, we produce such fan-favourite series as The Snoopy Show, Snoopy in Space, Chip & Potato, Carmen Sandiego, Go, Dog. Go! and more. Our shows are enjoyed worldwide in more than 150 countries on over 500 streaming platforms and telecasters, and our AVOD business – WildBrain Spark – offers one of the largest networks of kids’ channels on YouTube, garnering billions of views per month from over 150 million subscribers. We also license consumer products and location-based entertainment in every major territory for our own properties as well as for our clients and content partners. Our television group owns and operates four family entertainment channels that are among the most viewed in Canada. WildBrain is headquartered in Canada with offices worldwide and trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: WILD). Please visit us at wildbrain.com.
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” under applicable securities laws with respect to the Company including, without limitation, statements regarding executive appointments at WildBrain and expected benefits therefrom, the markets and industries in which the Company operates, and the business strategies and operational activities of the Company and its subsidiaries. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, such statements involve risks and uncertainties and are based on information currently available to the Company. Actual results or events may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations, among other things, include the ability of the Company to execute on its business strategies and opportunities, market factors, consumer and customer preferences, epidemics, pandemics or other public health crises, including the current outbreak of COVID-19, the magnitude and length of economic disruption as a result of the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak, and risk factors discussed in materials filed with applicable securities regulatory authorities from time to time including matters discussed under “Risk Factors” in the Company’s most recent Annual Information Form and annual Management Discussion and Analysis. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date hereof, and the Company assumes no obligation to update or revise them to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by law.