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Edited by Christopher Simmons, senior news editor


DONNA FRIEDMAN MEIR JOINS NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TELEVISION & FILM AS PRESIDENT OF KIDS' PROGRAMMING AND PRODUCTION

WASHINGTON, DC - Jan. 27, 2003 /Send2Press Newswire/ -- Donna Friedman Meir has been named president of kids' programming and production for National Geographic Television & Film, it was announced today by National Geographic Television & Film President Tim Kelly. In this newly created position, Friedman Meir will oversee development of a wide range of entertainment programming properties for the youth market, leveraging the National Geographic brand where appropriate and building on the Society's ongoing kids' initiatives, which include a highly successful kids' magazine, home videos, an educational Web site, toy licensing, and book and school publishing.

"Donna has the talent and expertise to bring the best of National Geographic to the next generation and further expand our reach into the kids' entertainment market. She understands every aspect of the kids' arena, from concept development through production. Her proven track record in everything from hit show creation and successful marketing to licensing, home video, new media and publishing projects makes her the perfect leader for National Geographic in this important category," said Kelly.

"I am a builder and have always sought opportunities where I could help break new ground," said Friedman Meir. "National Geographic's mission is in tune with my personal values and passions. It is an extraordinary organization fueled by talented people who open our eyes to the world. I can't think of a more exciting opportunity than to help National Geographic make kids passionate about discovering their world."

Friedman Meir will be based in Los Angeles and joins the organization in mid-February. Working closely with National Geographic's video, feature films, licensing, magazine and book editorial teams as well as educational outreach units, Friedman Meir will be developing a wide variety of projects ranging from television specials and series to direct-to-home video properties that complement National Geographic's kids' offerings.

"With our other kids' initiatives thriving and our licensing activities in full swing, the time is right and now the leadership is in place to break new ground in kids' television entertainment," said National Geographic Ventures President Dennis Patrick.

"We look forward to delivering innovative and imaginative programming, featuring adventure, exploration and science -- the stuff kids love and what National Geographic is all about."

Friedman Meir joined Kids' WB!, the children's programming service of The WB Television Network, in 1999, overseeing all creative aspects of the highest rated kids' broadcast network's programming. During her four-year tenure at Kids' WB!, she led the network to outstanding growth. Most recently she was instrumental in helping the network earn its tenth straight Saturday morning sweep victory, delivering an all-new sweep ratings high in various key demographics. Among the hit series she acquired, developed, greenlit and supervised are "Jackie Chan Adventures," "X-Men: Evolution" and "What's New Scooby Doo?"

Friedman Meir came to Kids' WB! from Nickelodeon, where her nine-year stint included roles in marketing, consumer products, new media and, most recently, as vice president, marketing and associate creative director for Nickelodeon Latin America. Early in her tenure at Nickelodeon, she also co-authored the highly touted "How To Nickelodeon" handbook, the original guide to the cable network's brand identity and philosophy.

A magna cum laude graduate of Harvard University, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, Friedman Meir was a John Harvard scholar as well as a Ford Foundation Grant recipient. She currently serves on the board of the American Center for Children and Media, and was a member of the design committee of the Children's Museum of Los Angeles. She was named one of the top 25 most powerful women in television by Electronic Media in October 2002.

Building on its global reputation for remarkable visuals and compelling stories, National Geographic Television & Film augments its award-winning documentary productions (119 Emmy Awards and more than 800 other industry awards) with feature films, large-format films, and long-form television drama programming. Worldwide, National Geographic's television programming can be seen on the National Geographic Channel, MSNBC and PBS, home video and DVD, and through international broadcast syndication. The National Geographic Channel is received by more than 200 million households in 25 languages in 144 countries, including the United States. For more information about National Geographic Television & Film, log on to nationalgeographic.com.

URL: www.ngs.org

Source of news: National Geographic Television & Film



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