Headlines of 2009: January to June

The big stories from the first six months of the year.
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January

Turner CN Enterprises debuts (Jan 14th)

Turner Broadcasting reveals a major repositioning of the licensing arm of its business across EMEA, renaming the department Turner Enterprises.
The move reflected the expansion of Turner Enterprise's remit, to include Turner Broadcasting's adult entertainment brands, CNN, Adult Swim and Turner Classic Movies. These will sit alongside its existing successful kids' portfolio, including Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Cartoonito.
An additional aspect of the repositioning saw the licensing of assets across mobile, online and DVD brought under the helm of Turner Enterprises in order to centralise distribution of Turner Broadcasting content across all non-linear platforms.

BBC Worldwide UK is second biggest licensor in 2008 (Jan 27th)

BBC Worldwide revealed a successful end to 2008, with two of its flagship brands - Doctor Who and In The Night Garden - in the top ten performing toy licences of the year, helping the firm to the position of second biggest licensor in the UK.
The commercial arm of the BBC ended 2008 with a 11.5 per cent market share and 15 per cent growth year-on-year, according to NPD data.

February

Woolworths to return online (Feb 2nd)

The joint administrators of Woolworths confirmed the sale of the brand name and childrenswear brand Ladybird to Shop Direct Group, the UK's largest online and home shopping retailer.
The group is planning to relaunch Woolworths as an online store selling a range of products including the Ladybird children's label.

HMV: We can be 'ultimate' destination for licensed product (Feb 4th)

With the retreat of Woolworths from the High Street, numerous retailers were looking to capitalise on the sudden gap in the market - and none more so than entertainment chain HMV.
The then entertainment product buyer Fran Jones told Licensing.biz that she would like to see HMV become the "ultimate destination for licensed product".

March

E1 Entertainment emerges
(March 2nd)

Contender Entertainment Group becomes known as E1 Entertainment, following a rebranding exercise after it was acquired by Entertainment One in 2008.
The new-look business is made up of home entertainment, film distribution, TV production and TV distribution divisions, as well as licensing. Andrew Carley becomes head of licensing.

US trade show battle begins (March 23rd)

Trade Show Events looks to tempt the licensing industry back to New York in 2010, revealing bold plans for a three-day show at the Jacob Javits Convention Center.
The dates of April 20th to 22nd have been reserved and the company is currently approaching a number of key players from the business about being involved with the event, which will see booths limited in size for a more intimate networking setting. As well as traditional licensing, the firm is promising a stronger focus on interactive and digital marketing, with screening rooms, private suites and a number of new ways to attract buyers at a reasonable cost.

Advanstar takes legal action over 'New York Licensing Show' (March 29th)

Advanstar Communications sends out an email to all exhibitors at this year's Licensing International in a bid to stop any confusion over the recently mooted New York Licensing Show - also revealing it will be taking legal action.
"Advanstar must and will take appropriate steps to protect its brand and to ensure that there is no confusion in the licensing world about its show," the firm said in its statement.

April

Boomerang Media acquires Entertainment Rights' subsidiaries(April 1st)

Entertainment Rights' principle UK and US trading subsidiaries - ER, Big Idea and Classic Media - are acquired by Boomerang Media. The deal ended the confusion which had been surrounding ER for the past 12-18 months.
The company is led by Eric Ellenbogen and John Engelman, in partnership with GTCR, one of the leading private equity firms in the US. ER purchased Classic Media from the duo back in 2007.

Gustavo Antonioni exits ITV Global
(April 5th)

ITV Global Entertainment's commercial brands director, Gustavo Antonioni takes voluntary redundancy from the firm.

Coolabi in reverse takeover talks (April 8th)

Coolabi has it shares suspended from the London Stock Exchange and confirms it is in early stage discussions regarding a potential reverse takeover.
A statement said: "The board of the company notes the recent movement in its share price and confirms that it is in early stage discussions regarding a potential transaction which, should it proceed, would constitute a reverse takeover of the company under AIM rules."

Disney is top global licensor (April 23rd)

Disney Consumer Products was once again named number one in License Global's annual run down of the top 100 licensors in the world.
Properties such as Hannah Montana (pictured), Disney Fairies, Disney Princess and Disney Pixar's Cars all experienced strong growth, helping the company to some $30 billion in retail sales.

Hasbro and Discovery join forces (April 30th)

Toy company Hasbro teams up with Discovery Communications on a new joint venture which will include a television network and a website.
Both the network and the venture's online component will feature content from Hasbro's portfolio of entertainment and educational properties.
New programming will be based on brands such as Trivial Pursuit, Scrabble, My Little Pony, GI Joe and Transformers among others.

May

Classic Media expands global business (May 11th)

Classic Media reveals that the former UK and US subsidiaries of Entertainment Rights will now operate as a unified business under the name of its parent company, following the recent acquisition.
Big Idea, the producer of VeggieTales and a member of the Classic Media group, will continue to operate under its own name.

Toys R Us buys FAO Schwarz (May 29th)

Toys R Us acquires big name US toy outfit FAO Schwarz for an undisclosed sum.
The company will continue to operate the two FAO retail stores in New York and at the Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. TRU also said it will offer jobs to existing FAO staff at both locations.

Brand new look for Licensing.biz (May 29th)

The world's leading licensing industry news source unveils a new look ahead of Licensing International.

June

Brand Licensing goes East
(June 4th)

Advanstar is launching Brand Licensing Central & Eastern Europe in 2010.
The show will take place at the VAM Design Centre in Budapest, Hungary, on 8th-9th March 2010. Licensors, Agents and support companies will exhibit, while licensees, retailers, marketers and sales promotion professionals will attend the inaugural event.

Licensees give thumbs up to Vegas (June 11th)

A wide range of licensees praise Licensing International in Las Vegas, with the majority’s overall impression being that it was well organised, well attended by the relevant people and a great venue.
In fact, the only negatives mentioned were the extended flight time from the UK and the jetlag, plus some confusing signage on the show floor.

Solid first quarter for Chapman (June 15th)

Chapman Entertainment reveals that it outperformed its sales targets in the first quarter - and is expecting these positive results to continue throughout the year.

VEGAS 09: The Verdict (June 16th)

It seems that the switch to Las Vegas for Licensing International has proved a success - with a large number of licensors, licensees, agents and retailers telling Licensing.biz that they will be returning to the Mandalay Bay in 2010.

Danilo's Jones bounces back (June 24th)

Danilo Promotions’ licensing director Trevor Jones returns to his desk following a spell away from the industry due to a sudden illness.
Jones – or the Bionic Licensee has he’s been dubbed – has been out of action for five months. He told Licensing.biz that he has been overwhelmed by the amazing support from the industry.

Woolworths opens its doors online
(June 25th)

The Woolsworth brand begins trading again - only this time it's online only.
Shop Direct chief executive, Mark Newton-Jones officially unveiled www.woolworths.co.uk at a special press conference.

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