PBS KIDS Sprout, a new television and online provider of content devoted to preschool children and their parents and caregivers, today announced two senior executive appointments: Sandy Wax will join the network as President effective November 2 and Andrew Beecham has joined the network as Senior Vice President of Programming. In addition, Diana Kerekes, Vice President and General Counsel of Content Development for Comcast Corporation, will assume a seat on the PBS KIDS Sprout Board of Directors after serving as acting General Manager for the network during its development and launch.
"We're making PBS KIDS Sprout the premier multi-platform destination for
outstanding programming that kids love and parents trust, and Sandy and Andrew
are ideally suited to lead those efforts," said Ms. Kerekes. "Their extensive
industry experience, enthusiasm and creativity will help ensure the network's
Added Jeff Shell, President of Comcast Programming, "Sandy brings
tremendous programming expertise and a solid understanding of how to
effectively communicate programming to consumers. I'm confident she will
build on the successful foundation that Diana and the entire Sprout team has
created for this new network."
Ms. Wax will oversee all strategy and operations for the new Philadelphia-
based network. She joins PBS KIDS Sprout from Disney ABC Cable Networks, where
she most recently served as Senior Vice President, SOAPnet Program Planning,
Scheduling and Acquisitions. A 16-year cable industry veteran, Ms. Wax joined
Disney ABC Cable Networks in 1998, where she developed the Playhouse Disney
curriculum, which became the brand blueprint for Playhouse Disney. She also
has held several senior management positions with Disney ABC Cable Networks
and Discovery Networks.
"I am thrilled to be part of this groundbreaking effort to meet the needs
of preschoolers and the people who love them with the first and only 24x7
preschool channel, VOD service and Website," said Ms. Wax. "I'm looking
forward to making PBS KIDS Sprout the first choice for parents looking for
safe, fun, quality programming for their children - anytime, anywhere."
Mr. Beecham, who most recently served as Senior Vice President of
Programming Investments for HIT Entertainment, will report to Ms. Wax and is
leading PBS KIDS Sprout's programming development and acquisition strategies.
In this role, he is responsible for the overall consumer-facing presentation
of the network's 24x7 digital cable channel, video-on-demand (VOD) programming
and Internet site (http://www.sproutletsgrow.com).
While at HIT Entertainment, Mr. Beecham worked closely with Ms. Kerekes in
the formation of PBS KIDS Sprout, serving as HIT Entertainment's liaison in
developing the network's programming policies and on-air presentation. Prior
to joining HIT Entertainment, he served as Director Playhouse Disney,
Worldwide Programming Strategy Group for ABC Cable Networks Group. During his
nine-year tenure, Mr. Beecham was responsible for creating and introducing the
Playhouse Disney programming format to numerous International markets and
oversaw global production.
"PBS KIDS Sprout has a programming strategy together with a look and feel
that is totally unique in the U.S.," said Mr. Beecham. "I'm delighted to be
joining a network that will change the way kids and caregivers view and use
pre-school content; on air, on-demand and on-line."
PBS KIDS Sprout launched its VOD service in April, and its 24x7 digital
cable channel and Website (http://www.sproutletsgrow.com) in September. The
network is available on digital cable and satellite with over 16 million
committed subscribers, with a program lineup that includes Sesame Street(R),
Bob the Builder(TM), Barney & Friends(TM), Thomas & Friends(TM), Angelina
Ballerina(TM), Sagwa: The Chinese Siamese Cat(TM), Caillou(R), The Berenstain
Bears(TM), Jay Jay the Jet Plane(TM), Teletubbies(TM), Dragon Tales(TM),
Pingu(TM), Noddy(TM) and more.
About PBS KIDS Sprout
PBS KIDS Sprout was created as a partnership between Comcast Corporation
(Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) the country's leading provider of cable, entertainment
and communications products and services; PBS (Public Broadcasting Service),
the most trusted distributor of award-winning children's programming; and HIT
Entertainment and Sesame Workshop, two of the leading providers of quality
entertainment for young children.