In a world of dumb animation execs, Stu Snyder made a sincere effort to be the dumbest of the pack. He was the brilliant visionary who led a campaign to remove cartoons from Cartoon Network.
Now, he’s leaving Cartoon Network.
When Snyder became the executive VP and COO of Turner animation in 2007, he made the shift toward live-action and reality shows one of his priorities. “We did all the research in terms of what kids wanted to watch, what they were watching on TV at the time, on our network and across all networks,” he said in 2009. “I think these new shows, whether reality or live scripted, really open up and broaden the audience, so you can be thinking about new advertising categories.” His foward-thinking approach included adding golfing and military training shows to Cartoon Network. Predictably, his actions were not appreciated by viewers who liked tuning into Cartoon Network to watch…oh, I don’t know…cartoons.
After the successes of The Regular Show and Adventure Time and the complete and total failure of his live-action initiatives, Snyder was forced to reconsider his position. Snyder, who is leaving his post at the end of March, currently serves as the president and chief operating officer of the Turner Animation unit. The LA Times makes clear that Snyder is not departing by choice:
Snyder’s departure comes in the wake of a new management regime taking the reins at Turner. In January, John Martin was promoted from chief financial officer of Time Warner to chief executive of Turner. As part of the restructuring, David Levy, Turner’s head of sales and distribution, was named president. Tensions between Snyder and Levy led to the former’s decision to resign, a person familiar with the matter said who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.
Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, Stewie.