Snyder Exiting COO Post at Turner’s Animation, Young Adults & Kids Media UnitVeteran Will Depart Programmer at Month's End 3/07/2014 5:36 PM Eastern
Stu Snyder is leaving his position as president and COO of Turner’s Animation, Young Adults & Kids Media division at month's end.
Snyder has been heading the group, including Cartoon Network, late-night spinoff Adult Swim, vintage animated service Boomerang, and assorted digital businesses and a pair of animation production facilities in Atlanta and Burbank, since 2007.
He was promoted to his current position the following January as part of a management change.
Snyder’s resignation becomes effective at the end of March, the same time Cartoon, which began the pitching process in February, will wind down its upfront road show. Adult Swim will hold its presentation to media buyers on May 14 in New York. A successor to Snyder was not immediately named.
The move follows the establishment of a new executive structure at the programmer that saw John Martin promoted from Time Warner CFO to chief executive of Turner Broadcasting System in Janaury. As part of the reorganization, David Levy, who was heading Turber's sales, distribution and sports, was named president, adding oversight of entertainment and the kids unit to his purview.
In a letter to staff, Snyder said he was proud of his team’s accomplishments. For his part, Levy said Snyder’s exit opens the door to “fresh thinking” at the unit.
Snyder’s letter can be found below.
It is with mixed emotions that I share with you the news that I will be leaving the company at the end of the month. Over the last nine years, I have had the privilege of working and partnering with some of the most creative, talented and fun people in the business, who I will miss working with every day. While I am excited about the future, I can honestly say that my second time here at Turner was one of the most, if not the most, rewarding times in my career.
One of my goals has always been to leave an organization in better shape than when I joined. I believe together we have accomplished this goal. Our strategy of always "Surprising our Audience" has created success for our business and the company overall. Adult Swim has grown each year, achieved its best ratings ever in 2013 and is poised for even greater success. Cartoon Network is a vibrant and important Kids brand that has pop culture buzz, franchise hits to back it up and a well-earned reputation for knowing what matters to kids and making a difference in their lives. I am extremely proud of our Stop Bullying: Speak Up campaign, which provides a platform for kids and empowers them to find ways to deal with this issue. Boomerang is beloved by families and is about to become an even more important brand in the marketplace.
I want to thank each of you for your support and ongoing commitment to excellence, and for always being open to trying new things. Your energy and love for our business made me proud of our successes, allowed us to take risks and enabled me and all of us to learn and grow along the way. I was always proud to represent you, to advocate for you and to work alongside you, and I wish each of you happiness and continued success.
For now, I will just say so long until we connect again.
And remember, in the midst of the craziness, always to take a moment to celebrate the wins, which I know there will be many of in the future.
My sincere thanks and warmest regards,
This is the text of Levy’s missive.
As you know, Stu Snyder is leaving the company and his position as president and chief operating officer of Turner’s Animation, Young Adults & Kids Media division.
During the years that Stu has led the company’s domestic kids and young adult entertainment business, Cartoon Network has expanded its programming genres and emerged as a powerhouse with boy audiences, while Adult Swim strengthened its leadership position with young adults. Both brands built strong ties to the creative community. Boomerang emerged as a valued family brand. Stu championed a pro-social initiative, Stop Bullying: Speak Up, that helped move an important conversation into the mainstream. And he positioned strong leaders and innovative creative professionals throughout the division.
Stu had earlier roles within the company that helped lay the foundation for the success that Turner enjoys today. He was senior vice president and general manager of GameTap, an early experiment in subscriber-based content delivered via broadband, and he led Turner’s home entertainment division during the ‘90s boom years of home video. He has had a uniquely varied and interesting career thus far, and I have no doubt that his next professional chapter will continue that path. We thank him for his many contributions to our company and wish him continued success.
This change comes at an important time for our brands and businesses. Stu and I are focused on the critical upfront marketplace and ensuring business continuity through his departure in the coming weeks. Our content strength, broad audience position and portfolio of platforms advantage us in ways that we will more fully explore and exploit. I’m looking forward to working directly with members of the AYAKM leadership team to consider what operating model and combination of vision, experience and leadership roles best serves Turner’s kids and young adult business going forward.
This is an opportunity for fresh thinking that will involve and engage everyone in the division. Together, we’ll set a new course that energizes our brands; leverages current and emerging technology; and delivers on the growth power and potential that we know is there for Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Adult Swim.