Kids' WB!, Cartoon Network's ad sales units to combine

NEW YORK: This is an alliance that AOL Time Warner is hoping will bring two of its leading assets even closer together for the US kids buying marketplace.

The US advertising sales efforts of AOL Time Warner's Kids' WB! which claims to be the number one kids' broadcast network and the top-rated service in all television among boys, and Cartoon Network, the 24/7 animation network will be combined at the end of the broadcast season in September.

The unified Kids' WB! and Cartoon Network advertising sales group will report to executive VP ad sales and marketing Cartoon Network Kim McQuilken. McQuilken reports to president group sales and marketing Turner Entertainment Mark Lazarus.

While the sales units will be combined, programming and marketing for each network will remain independent, yet collaborative. Lazarus said, "There's no stronger combination in kids television than Kids' WB! and Cartoon Network. Combining the sales efforts of these two powerhouses will result in new growth opportunities for our marketing partners. Our customer-focussed approach will create unprecedented options for the kids television marketplace."

An official release informs that the combined strength of Kids' WB! and Cartoon Network is evident. In January 2003, the four-week combined reach of Kids' WB! and Cartoon Network in the key demographics of Kids 2-11 (72.5 per cent) and Kids 6-11 (72.2 per cent) puts the partnership head-to-head with the Nickelodeon and CBS combo.

President and COO The WB Jed Petrick said, "The sharing of programmes such as Pokémon, The Powerpuff Girls, Scooby-Doo between Kids' WB! and Cartoon Network began when Jamie Kellner moved to Atlanta, and since then we have greatly increased our collaboration. Combining the AOL Time Warner kids television sales efforts into one specialised unit was a natural progression. I would be surprised if the company's joint kids efforts end here, and I believe that the combined AOLTW kids properties are on the verge of leading this space. The WB sales head Bill Morningstar and his staff have done a terrific job growing our Kids' WB! revenue these past years."

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