Former Disney Executive David Levine Joins Moonbug As Head Of Studio
Back in June, it was reported that David Levine, then Disney’s vice president of kids programming for the U.K., Europe, and Africa, was to leave the company after a 16-year stint. The executive has found a new job: he is now head of studio at the fast-growing start-up Moonbug Entertainment.
The company, which is based in London and L.A., has made a business out of acquiring preschool IPs — such as Youtube mega-hits Little Baby Bum and My Magic Pet Morphle — and developing them, creating spin-off shows, licensing them for merchandise, and other brand extensions. Its shows end up on major streaming platforms, from Netflix to Hulu, as well as Youtube, Joyn, Amazon Prime Video, Sky, and Roku. Founded in 2018, it claims to be “one of the largest digital media companies in the world,” with a content library totaling more than 550 hours.
Levine will be tasked with driving Moonbug’s IP expansion by developing properties like Cocomelon and Blippi (both of which also started out on Youtube). He will report to René Rechtman, the company’s co-founder and CEO.
At Disney, Levine was a key player in developing the Disney Channel and Disney XD brands in recent years. At the time of his departure, he led all strategic and operational aspects of kids’ programming across Disney Channels Europe, Middle East, and Africa. The animated series he developed or commissioned include 101 Dalmatian Street, PJ Masks, Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir, and Best Bugs Forever, the last of which is an example of his efforts to introduce LGBTQ+ characters and themes in his shows.
Before joining the House of Mouse, Levine was vice president at Ragdoll USA. He also worked with The Itsy Bitsy Entertainment Company, supporting the Teletubbies franchise in North and South America.
“David’s track record at Disney as a visionary executive specializing in children’s original content makes him uniquely well-suited to lead Moonbug’s creative, production, and content strategies,” said Rechtman. “This is a key position for Moonbug as we look to expand our content offerings around the world and develop more IP that delivers fun, educational, and relevant programming families love.”
Levine added: “Kids’ content is playing an increasingly vital role in early childhood development, and now more than ever parents are looking for safe, inclusive, educational content they can trust. Moonbug is at the forefront of this transformation.”
By ALEX DUDOK DE WIT/Cartoonbrew
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