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Nat Geo Kids appoints Vermeulen as head of sales

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MUMBAI: National Geographic Television International (NGTI) has appointed Karen Vermeulen as its first dedicated kids sales person. Vermeulen will be based in London in the new role of head of kids’ sales but will also work closely with National Geographic Kids' programming and production president Donna Friedman Meir - along with her US-based team - to drive the development of this growing area of National Geographic’s business.

Vermeulen joins from Entertainment Rights where she was territory manager UK, Ireland and German-speaking Europe, responsible for maximising TV, new media and DVD sales for a range of properties including Postman Pat, Basil Brush, Little Red Tractor and Barbie. In addition, she managed the strategic rollout of licensing and merchandising for core brands in Germany.

At National Geographic, Vermeulen will build on this experience, undertaking the key sales role for National Geographic Kids’ programming, but she will also have responsibility for managing the growing stable of brand franchises and developing properties for maximum benefit.

Current programmes in production from National Geographic Kids include Mama Mirabelle's Home Movies, a mix of animation and live-action wildlife footage for preschoolers, produced in partnership with King Rollo Films; Iggy Aruckle, an animated comedy adventure for kids 6 – 11, produced with Blueprint Entertainment; Toot & Puddle: I'll Be Home For Christmas based on the award-winning book by Holly Hobbie and being animated by Grand Slamm Children’s Films; and the first global reality adventure series for little kids, Are We There Yet?, produced in partnership with Cellar Door and Sinking Ship Productions.

Friedman Meir said, "We are thrilled to welcome Karen to the team and to have someone in London who can work more closely with our European partners on a regular basis. She brings a wealth of very valuable experience to our developing business and has a real feel for integrated property management. She joins National Geographic at a pivotal time; in addition to those shows already in production we have a large number of unique and outstanding properties in development, targeting pre-schoolers, school-age kids and tweens with our hallmark approach – entertaining programmes that excite kids to explore their world."

NGTI president Ian Jones added, "The addition of Karen to our team, along with the kids programming to the NGTI catalogue, marks a new era for our business and a natural extension for our brand. Donna and her team in the US have already done a fantastic job in establishing National Geographic as a player in the kids market, particularly in Europe, and I have every confidence that Karen is the ideal person to consolidate and build on that activity going forward."

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