New York, NY – January 9, 2017 – Sprout, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment’s 24-hour preschool network where kids are FREE TO GROW™, is expanding its leadership, naming three industry veterans to key roles. The announcement was made today by Frances Berwick, President, Lifestyle Networks, NBCUniversal.
“It is a dynamic time at Sprout, as we continue to grow both in viewership and content, and now more than ever, it’s critical that we provide our youngest viewers with seamless multiplatform experiences,” said Berwick. “As we looked across the business, we made the decision to bolster our senior management across two vital functions. These new roles will help us continue our growth trajectory and launch each new show in the best possible way, while ensuring our insights team has smart, seasoned leadership to continue to inform network strategy.”
Chanon Cook has been named Vice President, Insights and Strategy. In this role, she will lead and manage Sprout’s research team, generating actionable insights and recommendations from qualitative and quantitative research data. Cook will advise the programming and marketing teams in support of ratings, brand, and business growth goals, and will initiate and lead all primary research studies. Most recently, Cook was Vice President, Research and Analytics for IFC. Prior to that, she spent ten years at Comedy Central, where she was Senior Vice President, Strategic Insights and Research. She also held research roles at Lifetime and USA Network throughout her career. Cook will report to Frances Berwick.
Dea Connick Perez will join Sprout in the newly created role of Vice President, Program Strategy and Acquisitions. Perez will lead programming and scheduling strategy for Sprout to maximize cross-platform viewership. Working closely with research and marketing, she will create high impact tentpole events for both linear and digital platforms, and will work to capitalize on market trends and emerging platform opportunities. Perez was formerly Principal of Dea Connick Perez Media Consultancy, where she oversaw acquisitions and programming strategy for the Qubo Channel and Ion Life. Prior to that, she was at Discovery Kids Media as Acting General Manager and Vice President of Programming. She also served as Vice President of Programming and Acquisitions at Cartoon Network, and was Director of Acquisitions for Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite and TV Land for 11 years. Perez will report to Amy Friedman, Senior Vice President of Programming.
Finally, Shane Lindley has been named to the new role of Vice President, Digital, where he will oversee Sprout’s growing digital business and will create experiences for the preschool audience across all digital platforms. He will also set strategic direction for growing Sprout’s digital business, including expanding and enhancing content plans, analytics, product and technology. Lindley comes from Epix, where he was Senior Director of Digital Programming and Product. His extensive experience in children’s digital media includes senior positions at Dreamworks, where he led the digital publishing business, and prior to that was in various digital roles at The Walt Disney Company and BBC Children’s Interactive. Lindley reports to Jennifer Giddens, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Digital.
Sprout is the 24-hour preschool TV network where kids are Free To Grow™. Through engaging, original content and entertaining characters, Sprout encourages kids to develop into good people with curious minds, compassionate hearts, and courageous spirits. Sprout’s original programming includes series such as “Dot.,”“Terrific Trucks,” “Nina’s World,” “Floogals,” and the only LIVE morning show for preschoolers, “Sunny Side Up,” which broadcasts live from NBCU Studios in Rockefeller Plaza. Sprout, which launched in 2005, is a network of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, a division of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies. Now in over 59 million US homes, Sprout is available for kids and their families across all platforms including on-air, online at SproutOnline.com, On Demand, and via mobile with the Sprout Now and Sprout Playground apps.