On September 26th, 2005, Sprout began airing preschool content. It was the first 24 hour preschool destination network. Now that the Sprout network has turned 10 years old, let’s look back at where it began and hear where it’s going next ! Going into its 10th year, Sprout is rebranding and “Free to Grow”! Join Sprout’s very own Andrew Beechman (SVP Programming), Meredith Halpern-Ranzer (VP of Alternative Programming), and Kristofer Updike (Director, Original Programing & Development) give us an overview of the company’s past, present, and future.
Enjoy some birthday treats with us after the presentation and mix and mingle with CMA guests, Andrew, Meredith, and Kristofer. This event will be moderated by Children’s Media Association’s founder, Livia Beasley!
**Please note, this is not the appropriate forum to pitch creative property. This event is an informational event for our membership and we ask that you respect the executives and their time they are donating to the Children’s Media Association.
Date and Time: Monday, October 5th, 2015, 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Location: National Opera Center, 330 7th Ave, 7th floor, New York, NY
More about our speakers:
Andrew Beecham is Senior Vice President, Programming for Sprout. Beecham is responsible for original programming, scheduling, creative services and acquisitions. Beecham was a key architect in conceiving and launching Sprout as a premier destination for preschoolers and their families. Beecham is credited with pioneering Sprout’s fresh and inviting onair look and feel coupled with distinct original content, hosted blocks and trusted, goldstandard programming that follows the day of the preschooler from breakfast to bedtime. Additionally, Beecham and his team oversee the original programming development process, most recently with the launch of RuffRuff, Tweet and Dave.
Prior to Sprout, Beecham worked for Disney ABC Cable Networks, where he launched Disney Channel in the UK. As Director, Playhouse Disney for the Worldwide Programming Strategy Group,
he rolled out the Playhouse Disney format to Disney Channels internationally and executive produced over 50 studio production series. Beecham also worked for BBC TV in the UK as a writer/producer creating on air promotions, as well as launching BBC Prime. Previous to this, he ran Pink Hippo Productions, a corporate training video production company, where he won numerous awards including Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
A venerable figure in the children’s industry, Beecham is a frequent speaker at local and international industry events like Kidscreen, Preschool Academy, The Children’s Media Association, SPAA (Australia) and SPP (Korea). He also serves as a judge for industry competitions such as the Kidscreen Awards and the Rocket Shaw Prize. Beecham earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in television and music from Kent University
He and his wife now reside in Westchester with their two children, Hannah and Ollie.
Meredith Halpern-Ranzer, Sprout’s VP of Alternative Programming, joined the company just one month before the network’s launch in 2005. She is responsible for developing and overseeing quicktomarket original series, shorts, specials and original programming blocks, including Sprout’s live morning program Sunny Side Up and Sprout’s signature bedtime block The Good Night Show .
Prior to joining Sprout, Meredith learned the answer to the burning question of her childhood when she found out how to get, how to get to Sesame Street where she worked for eight years as a producer and editor. In this role, she was responsible for writing, producing and editing promos, public service announcements, image/brand videos, and live action films for Sesame Street and Sesame Street international. Prior to that, she was an editor of independent and documentary films.
Meredith holds a B.A. in Communications from the University of Delaware. She is a founding member and on the board of directors of Children’s Media Association. She lives in Montclair, NJ with her husband, her 7-year-old son and a dog named Shuggie.
Kristofer Updike has over 20 years experience in the entertainment industry, working intensively in television and film. As the Director of Original Programming and Development for the Sprout Network and NBC Kids, Kristofer has produced and developed over 200 half hours of live action and animated properties for both original and acquired longform productions, including the Parents’ Choice award-winning shows “Noodle and Doodle” and “The Chica Show.”
Previously, Kristofer was Vice President of Production at the stop-motion animation studio, Bix Pix Entertainment. In this capacity he wrote, produced, pitched and directed programming for clients, including the Emmy and Annie-nominated show “The Roadents.”
Independently, Kristofer has produced several short films, among them the Iris Prize-winning “Steam,” and has directed and acted in numerous film and television projects and over 50 theatrical productions.
Bringing compelling stories to life is a passion, and Kristofer enjoys not only taking a creative leadership role in a project but also handling the business management side of things to ensure that the finished product is the absolute best it can be. He has a deep appreciation for the talent and skills of everyone on his team, and works to create an environment that allows those qualities to shine.
Kristofer has a Bachelor of Arts degree with a triple major in Theatre, Film and Art from Albright College, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University.
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Event sponsored by DŌ.