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C21May iPad

Viacom’s Nick Jr, Noggin teams merge

Viacom-owned Nickelodeon has merged the management teams of its preschool offerings Nick Jr and Noggin, to create a unified group it claims will be the largest provider of preschool and parents’ programming in the world.

Nickelodeon Preschool will look after more than 109 hours of preschool programming a week, which it claims represents nearly 60% of all preschool programming on television.

Brown Johnson, who has been named executive VP and executive creative director of Nickelodeon Preschool as well as general manager of Noggin, will lead the restructured preschool team.

Teri Weiss has been promoted to senior VP of development and production at Nickelodeon Preschool and Angela Leaney is the group’s senior VP and creative director.

Johnson, who has lately been the driving force behind Nick Jr’s preschool properties Blue’s Clues, Dora the Explorer, Go Diego Go!, The Wonder Pets! and The Backyardigans, among others, will now oversee development and production for all preschool programming across both Nick Jr and Noggin.

Preschool programming block Nick Jr is seen in almost 92 million households, and airs on Nickelodeon weekdays from 09.00 to 14.00 (ET/PT), dedicated to preschoolers ages 2-5.

Noggin, the commercial-free digital educational preschool network, reaches 54 million households via cable, digital cable and satellite TV, and airs from 06.00 to 14.00 (ET). It is pitched by Nickelodeon as ‘preschool on TV,’ with educational programming both on-air and online at www.noggin.com.

“Brown has pioneered genuinely interactive TV and created a place where parents and kids will find the most diverse, unique programmes and characters around. Under her leadership, Nickelodeon Preschool will continue these traditions and invent new ways for the audience to play along, new ways for parents to feel great about our brands,” said Tom Ascheim, exec VP and general manager of Nickelodeon Television.

Weiss, who will report to Johnson, expands her role to develop and produce the next generation of series for the Viacom-owned network. Most recently she was VP of development and production, responsible for many of Nick Jr’s current preschool properties including Dora, Go Diego and Wonder Pets. She also led Nick Jr into the baby home video market with nine Curious Buddies titles.

In her new role, Leaney will partner with Nickelodeon Marketing and Nickelodeon Digital to continue to build both brands.

Leaney most recently held the position of senior VP of brand communications, where she was responsible for strategic branding, on-air and online promotion and marketing of Noggin and teen night-time network The N.

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