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Stephanie Betts, Deirdre Brennan rise to WildBrain C-suite, Jon Gisby exits

Canadian children’s content company WildBrain has elevated execs Stephanie Betts and Deirdre Brennan to its senior team, while Jon Gisby, MD of its WildBrain Spark AVoD business, is leaving.

Stephanie Betts

Betts, who formerly held the title of executive VP of content and current series, has been promoted to chief content officer. She will be charged with overseeing WildBrain Studios’ animation and live-action content slates across development, production and studio operations.

Veteran children’s content exec Brennan, who joined WildBrain as executive VP of content partnerships in January 2020 after stints at Universal Kids, Corus Entertainment and ABC in Australia, has been upped to chief operating officer.

With the promotion, Brennan’s remit will expand to include oversight of WildBrain Spark, which she will work to integrate into her existing content and distribution portfolio. Brennan will continue to have oversight of WildBrain’s TV and distribution businesses. Both Betts and Brennan will report to WildBrain president Josh Scherba.

Deirdre Brennan

In addition, WildBrain revealed it has hired Damon Berger, a former Mattel, Fullscreen and 20th Century Fox executive, as chief marketing officer.

In the newly created position, Berger will be tasked with driving new business and revenue through opportunities in media sales, social commerce and digital marketing. Part of Berger’s role will be to harness WildBrain Spark’s global audience on YouTube and YouTube Kids, and to work with WildBrain’s global team to identify and exploit new commercial opportunities.

Berger, whose previous roles include VP of global strategic partnerships at Fullscreen and VP of digital engagement at Mattel, will report to WildBrain CEO Eric Ellenbogen.

Given these shifts within the company, WildBrain said the role of MD at WildBrain Spark “will no longer exist,” leading to the departure of London-based Gisby, who joined the company three years ago. Prior to joining WildBrain Spark, Gisby held positions at music video platform Vevo as well as the BBC, Channel 4, Yahoo! Europe and Swedish streamer Magine TV.

Jon Gisby

“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,” said Ellenbogen in a statement.

“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.”


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