International Television Executive Stephen J. Davis Named President of Hasbro Studios

{mosimage} Hasbro has announced that Stephen J. Davis, prominent international television and production executive, has been selected as the President for the new, Los Angeles-based Hasbro Studios. This is the studio from which most of the shows based on Hasbro's brands (including Transformers) will be produced! Davis' previous positions include President of Mobile and Online Media at NASDAQ, Producer for ABC Family's "Young Buc's", and most recently, CEO of Family Entertainment Group LLC.

You can read the press release, which gives further information on Davis' past as well as the duties his new position will entail, by clicking here!

 

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PAWTUCKET, R.I.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE:HASNews) announced today that prominent international production and distribution television executive Stephen J. Davis has been named President of the Company’s newly-formed, Los Angeles-based Hasbro Studios. The “virtual” studio will produce shows based on Hasbro’s world class brands, deliver new branded content and produce programs from top third party content creators. Many of these shows will run on the new television network created by the joint venture between Hasbro and Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCANews, DISCBNews, DISCKNews), that is planned to debut Fall 2010, as well as on multiple channels in international markets.

Davis will begin work in September, leading a team of internal and external creative talent in a wide-range of genres, including animated, live-action and game show programming, as well as content designed for digital and mobile extensions.

New programming is planned based on brands such as ROMPER ROOM, TRIVIAL PURSUIT, SCRABBLE, CRANIUM, MY LITTLE PONY, G.I. JOE, GAME OF LIFE, TONKA and TRANSFORMERS, among many others.

Davis brings extensive industry experience and leadership to the newly-created position heading Hasbro Studios. Most recently, he was CEO of Family Entertainment Group LLC, which under Davis ’ direction has been engaged in the development, production, revitalization and distribution of family entertainment content for the traditional and digital space.

Davis also structured and managed an exclusive development and production venture between Southern Star Entertainment, a leading global production and distribution company and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), focusing on programming targeting the teen and young adult audience. Davis also serves as a producer on “Young Buc’s,” a teen-oriented scripted pirates series in development at ABC Family, among other projects.

Prior to this, Davis served as President of Mobile and Online Media at NASDAQ listed digital media company InfoSpace, and prior to that served as President of Granada America, a unit of one of Europe's leading producers and broadcasters of quality television programming where he led the company into a leadership position as the largest independent foreign-owned program supplier to the U.S. television networks.

“We are very pleased that Steve Davis has come on board to head up Hasbro Studios,” said Brian Goldner, Hasbro’s President and CEO. “Steve has an excellent track record in all facets critical to the long-term success of this venture. He has a strong creative background while also bringing us the full-range of skills necessary to run a studio. He is absolutely the right person to begin leveraging Hasbro’s brands to their fullest potential as we look to create immersive entertainment experiences globally.”

“The opportunity to lead Hasbro’s creative team in providing original and branded content for the Hasbro-Discovery joint venture network and international markets couldn’t be more exciting or gratifying,” Davis said. “Hasbro owns an amazing portfolio of brands that have only scratched the surface in terms of the potential for creating great programming. It is now my job to ensure that we build a dynamic team and that we attract the best and brightest creative talent from the community to maximize this potential. This is the dream opportunity – I can’t wait to get started.”

While the joint venture network is aimed at the U.S. marketplace, Hasbro retains all global programming rights and will distribute to channels outside the U.S. on a market by market basis. In addition, Hasbro retains the rights for DVD distribution globally. Programming will also be available digitally, including online through Hasbro.com and the network’s yet to be named branded website.

During Davis’s tenure at Granada America, the company developed and produced highly-rated reality, drama, kids and factual programming including “Hell’s Kitchen,” “Nanny 911,” “Room Raiders,” “First 48,” “The Persuaders,” and ”UFO,” and produced some of the top rated TV movies airing on domestic and international television, including two Emmy nominated movies, “Pope John Paul II” starring Jon Voight and “Rudy: The Rudy Guilliani Story” starring James Woods, both of which Davis served as Executive Producer.

Davis also previously worked as Vice President of Entertainment and Media Development for The Griffin Group, the entertainment and investment company of entertainer and entrepreneur Merv Griffin. He had responsibility for leading the company’s television programming, motion picture, live entertainment and new media businesses. He also had responsibility for overseeing its entertainment related M&A activities.

Davis serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of NATPE and served two terms as its Co-Chairman. NATPE is the world's leading association of television program executives. He serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of PCI: Media Impact, a leading NGO addressing social and health issues through media; is a member of the Board of Directors of Single Point, a leading mobile messaging and iTV company and is a member of the Board of the Hollywood Radio and Television Society (HRTS).

Announced in April 2009, the Hasbro-Discovery Communications joint venture network and the venture’s online component will feature content from Hasbro’s rich portfolio of entertainment and educational properties built over the past 90 years, including original programming for animation, game shows, and live-action series and specials.

In addition to featuring programming based on Hasbro brands, the TV network and online presence also will include content from Discovery’s extensive library of award-winning children’s educational programming, such as BINDI THE JUNGLE GIRL, ENDURANCE, TUTENSTEIN, HI-5, FLIGHT 29 DOWN and PEEP AND THE BIG WIDE WORLD, as well as programming from third-party content producers who can provide programs consistent with the network’s mission.

Programming on the network will be designed to entertain and educate, echoing the popularity and appeal of Hasbro’s portfolio of brands and Discovery’s long-standing commitment to life-long learning. In the tradition of Discovery Kids, this will include a number of daily hours voluntarily devoted to educational/informative content. The network will continue to operate as Discovery Kids until the debut of the to-be-named channel and new programming slate, planned for Fall 2010. Following the debut, Discovery Communications will retain the Discovery Kids brand for, among other things, its international networks and its licensing and merchandising business.

About Hasbro:

Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE:HASNews) is a worldwide leader in children’s and family leisure time products and services with a rich portfolio of brands and entertainment properties that provides some of the highest quality and most recognizable play and recreational experiences in the world. As a brand-driven, consumer-focused global company, Hasbro brings to market a range of toys, games and licensed products, from traditional to high-tech and digital, under such powerful brand names as TRANSFORMERS, PLAYSKOOL, TONKA, MILTON BRADLEY, PARKER BROTHERS, CRANIUM and WIZARDS OF THE COAST. Come see how we inspire play through our brands at http://www.hasbro.com. (C) 2009 Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Certain statements contained in this release contain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements include expectations concerning the programming which Hasbro and Hasbro Studios anticipate developing for the joint venture with Discovery Communications and for other outlets, as well as the anticipated timing for the development of that programming, and may be identified by the use of forward-looking words or phrases. Hasbro's actual actions or results may differ materially from those expected or anticipated in the forward-looking statements due to both known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Specific factors that might cause such a difference include, but are not limited to: (i) greater than expected costs, or unexpected delays or difficulties, associated with Hasbro’s creation of Hasbro Studios, Hasbro Studios efforts to develop programming for the network and for other outlets, and the rebranding of the joint venture network, (ii) consumer interest in and acceptance of the programming created by Hasbro Studios, including for the joint venture network, as well as (iii) other factors impacting the financial performance of Hasbro Studios and the joint venture network, including other risks and uncertainties as may be detailed from time to time in Hasbro's public announcements and SEC filings. Hasbro undertakes no obligation to make any revisions to the forward-looking statements contained in this release or to update them to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this release.

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