DHX Media has demonstrated its commitment to original animated content with two high-profile appointments. The kids’ content titan, which is based in Halifax, Canada, has promoted Stephanie Betts to the role of executive vice president, content. It has also hired Todd Brian to a new post: director of development, animation.
Betts has been at the company since 2010, in which time she’s worked on flagship properties like the Peanuts franchise and the Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs series. Previously, she was a director of development at Breakthrough Films & Television and a production manager at Atomic Cartoons. She will continue her role in “fostering, managing and expanding DHX Media’s animated content slate,” according to an official statement.
Brian’s eclectic background ranges across animation and live action. Alongside credits as a writer and story editor on kids’ programs like Caillou, Majority Rules!, and My Big, Big Friend, he comes with experience as a production executive at Corus Entertainment and a development executive at Marblemedia, specializing in family content in both cases. He will report to Betts at DHX.
“We’re producing an amazing slate of original content for the world’s top streaming platforms and broadcasters, and our development pipeline is rich with exciting new projects,” said Josh Scherba, president of DHX Media. “Stephanie has been integral to the DHX Media story for many years, and as we increase our focus on high-quality original content, her vision and expertise in development and production make her an ideal leader for our talented content team.”
The appointments follow the announcement in May of DHX’s new subscription-based video on demand (SVOD) service, Kids Room. The platform will draw content exclusively from the company’s library, which, at 13,000 half-hours, is the largest independent collection of family content in the world. Shows available at launch (which is scheduled for this summer) will include Bob the Builder, Fireman Sam, In the Night Garden, Teletubbies, Polly Pocket, and Strawberry Shortcake.
DHX has been on something of an acquisition spree in recent years. Among others, it bought Cookie Jar Entertainment in 2012, the UK-based Teletubbies producer Ragdoll Productions in 2013, Nerd Corps Entertainment in 2014, and the entertainment division of Iconix Brand Group in 2017. Key among its holdings, DHX has a controlling share of Peanuts, the classic American comic strip by Charles Schulz.