Hasbro’s new L.A. studio names execs

Posted 9/22/09

PAWTUCKET – Hasbro Inc. has hired a number of top entertainment executives as the company’s newly-created television studio division continues to get up and running.

Hasbro announced in August that it had recruited Stephen J. Davis, former CEO of Family Entertainment Group, to oversee the creation of Los Angeles-based Hasbro Studios, which is to undertake the “development, production and distribution of content for the traditional and digital space” based on Hasbro’s toy brands.

On Monday, Davis announced the hiring of Bob Boden, currently senior vice president of programming and production at the four-year-old cable network Fox Reality Channel and a former Game Show Network executive, as Hasbro Studio’s head of reality and game show development and production.

Davis also said he had hired Michael J. Vogel, director of animated programming at Sony Pictures TV, to oversee boys animation production at Hasbro Studios; Brian Charles Lenard, scripted development director at RDF USA, as head of story development; Mary Beth Bambridge, WME Entertainment’s strategic planning executive, as head of finance; and Kevin Healey, previously head of legal affairs at Hasbro Entertainment, to play the same role at Hasbro Studios.

In a statement, Davis said he was “delighted with the team we are putting in place,” and offered a number of reasons why he expects Hasbro studios to succeed.

“First, great programming requires great content, and we have the unique opportunity to take an amazing portfolio of iconic brands into all new and creative places,” he said. “Second, I have been given the green light to hire the best in the business, and the appointments we are announcing today demonstrates that Hasbro Studios will have the creative and intellectual firepower necessary to do great things.”

Much of Hasbro Studios’ planned programming is expected to air on a new children’s television cable channel being jointly-developed by Hasbro and Discovery Communications Inc. It is expected to launch in a year, replacing the Discovery Kids network.

Separately, Hasbro announced Monday that it has signed a long-term licensing agreement with Lightning Gaming Inc., a Philadelphia-based software game developer, to create gaming machines based on the board game Scrabble. The company said it expected the first machines to debut later this year.

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