Headlines of 2009: July to December

Disney swoops for Marvel and busiest BLE ever among big news.
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Warner Bros details four-year Harry Potter plan (July 7th)

Warner Bros Consumer Products (WBCP) outlines its calendar of events that it says will ensure the Harry Potter brand remains a viable licensing opportunity long after the final movie is released.
WBCP will be building merchandise programmes to support all the major projects on the calendar, and says it's aiming to exceed the global prominence and 'multi-billion licensing business' Harry Potter has become since the first movie launch in 2001.

BBC Worldwide revenues exceed £1 billion (July 14th)

BBC Worldwide reveals its results for the 12 months to March 31st - with revenues exceeding £1 billion for the first time.
Within this, BBC Magazines, Children's & Licensing put in a solid performance, with sales up three per cent to £210.2 million and profit growing 71 per cent to £13.2 million.

Paul Bufton confirmed as general manager of WBCP UK (July 30th)

Former Mattel, Lego and LucasArts man takes the helm at Warner Bros Consumer Products UK.


The Licensing Event postponed (August 20th)

The trade show which was looking to bring the licensing industry back to New York in 2010 is postponed, blaming economic conditions.

Disney swoops for Marvel (August 31st)

A definite contender for deal of the decade, this was an acquisition no one saw coming...


The Licensing Awards salute winners (Sept 11th)

The Licensing Source Book hands out its popular accolades in the annual ceremony, with big winners including Cartoon Network (Ben 10) and E1 (Peppa Pig).

BBC Worldwide to be sold off? (Sept 14th)

BBC director general Mark Thompson says that executives are considering a part privatisation of its commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, in an interview with The Guardian.
The paper reported that a stock market listing of the business was one of the options under consideration.

Classic's Kerr: "We're ready to grow" (Sept 28th)

Classic Media's executive director of consumer products and marketing, Andrew Kerr tells Licensing.biz that after an “interesting” 12 months, the firm is now ready to grow again on a variety of fronts and is back in a positive place.

Dee takes over content reins, as Woodward departs Coolabi (Sept 29th)

Michael Dee takes over as Coolabi's director of content, with Janet Woodward leaving the firm after six years.


BLE 09 is busiest ever (Oct 8th)

Advanstar confirms that Brand Licensing Europe 2009 was the biggest and busiest in its 11 year history.
The show - which ran on September 30th and October 1st in The Grand Hall, Olympia, London - attracted a verified attendance of 4,862 (Association of Exhibition Organisers audited visitors), up 13.5 per cent on the previous year.

Light Fund launches Bobsleigh Race Experience Challenge (Oct 14th)

Stephen Gould strikes again with a new challenge to raise funds for industry charity The Light Fund, teaming up with Icerush, a firm which was set up by ex-British bobsleigh athletes.


Sesame Street celebrates 40th with Google (Nov 5th)

As part of its 40th birthday celebrations, Sesame Workshop teams up with internet search engine Google to create original 'Google Doodles'.
For five days, Google featured photographic depictions of the Sesame Street Muppets with the Google logo on its home page in multiple countries.

Alworths opens its doors (Nov 5th)

The first Alworths store opens its doors, on what would have been the 100th anniversary of Woolworths.
Alworths is the brainchild of former Woolworths head of store and concession development, Andy Latham, who worked at the chain for over 25 years.

Children's BAFTA winners honoured (Nov 30th)

Big winners at the star-studded ceremony include Nick Jr, which picked up the Channel of the Year, and Astley Baker Davies and E1, walking away with Pre-school Animation for Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom, while ABD also picked up Independent Production Company.


Licensing.biz surges past 30,000 uniques
(Dec 2nd)

November stats from Google Analytics show that Licensing.biz boasted 30,767 unique visitors for the month, bursting through the 30k mark for the first time and recording its third consecutive month of growth.
Page views were also strong, with the data showing a figure of 71,635.

Retail more focused on licensed lines than ever (Dec 7th)

The closure of Woolworths has lead to the UK licensing industry forging closer links with new retailers, actually widening the market for branded merchandise.
A selection of key executives tell Licensing.biz that, while losing Woolworths was undoubtedly a blow – with the toy and apparel sectors suffering the most – it galvanised other retailers into developing more licensing activity.

LazyTown clarifies financial position (Dec 7th)

LazyTown moves to set the record straight following stories in The Sun and an Icelandic business weekly saying that it was facing 'financial meltdown'.

Ten year Sesame Street deal for Hasbro (Dec 8th)

Sesame Workshop and Hasbro seal a ten-year global strategic alliance which will see the toy firm manufacture and market a wide range of toys and co-branded games based on Sesame Street characters.
The new Sesame Street products from Hasbro's Playskool and games brands will be available from 2011.

TV-Loonland files for insolvency (Dec 9th)

TV-Loonland releases an official statement saying that a Munich insolvency court has decided it has to go into preliminary administration.
Due to the fact the company's shareholders repeatedly refused approval of a share consolidation on November 19th and November 26th respectively, TV-Loonland was not able to raise cash through an equity injection.


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