Inside Licensing News and Notes, March 6, 2018

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Maura Regan Named LIMA President

Maura Regan has been named President of LIMA, effective July 1, succeeding current LIMA President, Charles Riotto, who retires June 30 after a 21-year career with the organization.

Regan currently serves as Executive VP. In her new position, she will leverage her vast licensing knowledge and international expertise to further expand LIMA’s services and offerings to the global industry.

“Maura is a respected and influential member of the global licensing community who has already brought an incredible strategic vision to our global interests,” said Riotto. “She is perfectly positioned to lead LIMA into our next exciting chapter. Her impact will further enhance LIMA’s role as the industry’s thought leader and authoritative voice as licensing continues to grow around the world.”

In 2016, Regan joined LIMA following a 17-year career with Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization responsible for Sesame Street. As Senior Vice President and General Manager, International Media Business, she oversaw the Workshop’s international distribution and licensing business. Prior to that Regan was SVP and GM of Global Consumer Products and, before going to Sesame Workshop, held executive positions with Scholastic Entertainment and MTV Networks. She served as Chairman of the LIMA Board of Directors from 2012-2014.

Regan is a fellow of the US-Japan Foundation Leadership program and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.  She was recognized as a top leader in business by Irish-America Magazine. Regan resides in New York City with her husband Jim and has a grown daughter, Fiona.

Discovery Closes on Scripps Networks Acquisition

Discovery Communications closed on its $14.6 billion acquisition of Scripps Networks and renamed the combined company Discovery Inc. The Scripps purchase, which includes HGTV and other networks, will be accretive to Discovery’s earnings in the first year, Discovery said. Scripps CEO Kenneth Lowe will join Discovery’s board.


Discovery Inc., Gunnar Wiedenfeis, Chief Financial Officer, 240-662-2000,


Nerdblock Seeks Revival, Forms Alliance with Insight Editions

Subscription box service Nerd Block is attempting a comeback. Seven months after shutting down, the company has renamed itself Nerdblock Enterprises and, in an alliance with pop culture book publisher Insight Editions, is seeking to rebuild its business, according to an email sent to former subscribers. Insight, owed $230,000, was among Nerd Block’s top unsecured creditors when the company filed for bankruptcy protection last August in Canada. In working with Insight, Nerd Block will be able to supply new content and products that provide “behind-the-scenes access” to books, comics, films, videogames and TV shows, Nerdblock said in the email. The company also will work with artists to curate and develop collectibles, limited edition books and other products.


American Greetings Readying New Holly Hobbie, Tinpo Licensing Programs

American Greetings is launching licensing programs behind a revival of Holly Hobbie and Tinpo, a BBC co-production due in the fall, says American Greetings Senior Brand Manager Jenn van Heff. American Greetings will seek Holly Hobbie agreements for toys, apparel and home décor. A TV series based on the Holly Hobbie books was last made in 2008 along with a doll line from Mattel. Tinpo is being co-produced with Dentsu and OLM as a 78-episode, seven-minute animated fantasy series scheduled to air on the CBeebies in the UK, American Greetings is seeking a master toy licensee to bring the property into construction, role play and other categories. Meanwhile, a new Care Bear series, “Unlock the Magic”, is due by year-end in targeting older children (5-7 years old) than the pre-school audience it has drawn in the past, says van Heff. American Greetings is co-producing the new series, which will air on Cartoon Network’s Boomerang Channel, with Aircraft Pictures.


American Greetings, Janice Ross, Head of Licensing, 310-426-8608,



LMCA is representing The Great Australian Roadside Co. and its Roadsign Australia brand as the company seeks to expand into apparel, bags, footwear and accessories in the Americas and Asia with first products expected to arrive in 2019. Great Australian is best known for its road signs in Australia, including those warning of kangaroos, koalas, crocodiles and sharks. It already has hoodies, t-shirts and sport shirts that it sells through the Roadside Australia web site, but is seeking to enter the U.S. market for the first time… Brandgenuity is handling licensing for the 420-store White Castle chain as it revives an earlier effort to extend the brand in apparel and food, the latter including cheese and salty snacks.


Brandgenuity, Louis Drogin, Partner,  212-925-0730,

LMCA, Alan Kravetz, Pres., 212-265-7474,

The Great Australian Roadside Co., Roger Carthew, Managing Dir., +61 8 8268 7099

White Castle, Kim Bartley, VP Marketing, 614-224-8114


Nordstrom Special Committee Rejects Buyout Offer

A special committee of the Nordstrom board rejected a buyout offer from a group led by the private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners. As part of the agreement, the group would buy the Nordstrom family’s current 21% stake in the department store chain, allowing heirs to cash out $550 million of their ownership. A earlier buyout attempt, led by the Nordstrom family, was abandoned in October after the needed funding couldn’t be raised.


Nordstrom, Anne Bramman, Chief Financial Officer, 206-628-2111