24 JUN, 2014

As part of its continued expansion, HIT Entertainment, one of the world's leading pre-school entertainment companies, has appointed, Karen Davidsen in the role of Director of Production, Global Content; Phil Molloy as Senior Creative Manager, Global Content; and Luca Magnani as Global Brand Director, Thomas & Friends.

Based in HIT’s London office, Davidsen and Molloy will report in to Michael Carrington, Vice President Global Content & Executive Producer. As the business evolves from producing shows for traditional TV to include digital distribution outlets and in readiness for new emerging platforms, these new hires will be critical to global production and the business across the HIT Brands portfolio. 

Davidsen has over 20 years’ experience and has returned to HIT Entertainment, having previously worked for the business from 1998-2007. In this new role, she is responsible for all the organisational aspects of production scheduling and budgeting, and will oversee all production personnel. Her remit will also include identifying new studios and production talent.

Prior to this, Davidsen was Director of Production and Original Programming at Walt Disney Company responsible for original programming across Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior Production Unit across EMEA. Her previous experience also includes Channel 4 and Hibbert Ralph Entertainment where she produced the second series of ‘William’s Wish Wellingtons’ and award-winning series ‘The Forgotten Toys’.

Molloy brings with him 11 years’ experience and  joins the team from Spectrecom Films where he was Creative Director, responsible for creative strategy and output of film-based advertising campaigns for the likes of Plants Vs Zombies (SEGA/PopCap Games). Prior to this, he was Lead Creative Producer at Turner Broadcasting responsible for writing, producing and directing on-air and online advertising and promotional campaigns for commercial partners to support Turner’s key channels Cartoonito, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Boing and TCM across EMEA.  Molloy also worked on the award winning LEGO Star Wars campaign at Turner which involved content production of online games, sites, shorts, and web-drives.

Luca Magnani joins the team on June 30th as Global Brand Director, reporting in to VP Global Brand, Kate Schlomann. He will be responsible for developing the worldwide strategy, growth plans and positioning for Thomas & Friends

Luca brings with him more than 15 years of experience including his latest role as Senior Director of Brand Marketing & Franchise Management, EMEA, at Turner Broadcasting where he led the global launch of animated comedy ‘The Amazing World of Gumball’, EMEA launch of ‘Ben 10’ and global trans-media project LEGO Mixels. Previously, he was Senior Marketing, Franchise Management and New Media Director, Italy, at Turner where he was pivotal to the development, launch and management of Boing. Before that, Magnani was Director at Saatchi & Saatchi.

Edward Catchpole, SVP HIT Brands, commented, "With Luca's background and experience in franchise management, Karen’s extensive production experience  and Phil’s creative and digital skills, I believe we have three very strong additions to our talent as we further build our business. This comes at a crucial time when HIT is focused upon developing exceptional content across multiple platforms, driving its future brand and content strategy globally with innovative new solutions".

-Ends -

For all media enquiries, please contact:

Katie Kajumba
HIT Entertainment
Direct: +44 (0)20 7554 2581 / +44 (0)7825 204 459
Email: kkajumba@HITentertainment.com

Notes to editors:

About HIT Entertainment

HIT Entertainment is one of the world's leading pre-school entertainment companies, specialising in building powerful brands based on engaging stories.  HIT Entertainment’s world-class portfolio includes  Thomas & Friends®, Mike the Knight™, Fireman Sam®, Bob the Builder™, Barney®, Angelina Ballerina®, Pingu® and Rainbow Magic®.

HIT Entertainment excels at creating and building globally successful brands which capture the hearts and imaginations of pre-schoolers and their families.  This is achieved through exceptional storytelling in multiple formats, enhanced by creating high quality character-based products and experiences with best-in-class partners. HIT Entertainment’s lines of business span television and home entertainment production, content distribution, digital media and live events and attractions.  HIT Entertainment, a subsidiary of Mattel, Inc., has operations in the UK, US, Canada, Hong Kong and Japan. For more information visit www.hitentertainment.com