Cookie Jar Group: Wikis

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Cookie Jar Group
Type Private
Predecessor Cinar
Founded 1976 (as Cinar)
2004 (current ownership)
Headquarters Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Burbank, California, United States
Key people Co-founder & CEO:
Michael Hirsh
Co-founder & President:
Toper Taylor
Industry Animation, Production
Products Cookie Jar TV
Cookie Jar Toons
Cookie Jar Kids Network
KidsCo
Jaroo.com
the JAR
Divisions Cookie Jar Entertainment
Cookie Jar Education
Cookie Jar Consumer Products
Subsidiaries Copyright Promotions Licensing Group
DIC Entertainment Corporation
FilmFair
Website cjar.com

The Cookie Jar Group (also known as The Cookie Jar Company and Cookie Jar Group of Companies) (formerly Cinar) is a Canadian and American producer of children’s entertainment, consumer products and educational materials. Made up of three divisions: entertainment, consumer products, and education, Cookie Jar Group is one of the world’s largest independent children’s entertainment, consumer products and education companies with ownership and licensing rights to some of the most recognizable character brands. The group currently consists of the divisions of Cookie Jar Entertainment, Inc., Cookie Jar Education, and Cookie Jar Consumer Products. It also includes its two current subsidiaries, the newly renamed DIC Entertainment Corporation and the former British animation producer FilmFair. It is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, with offices in Burbank, California, Paris, London, and Tokyo among other places.

In its previous incarnation as Cinar (pronounced seh-NAR), the company enjoyed an illustrious existence that ultimately ended in scandal.[1] Cinar was an integrated entertainment and education company involved in the development, production, post-production and worldwide distribution of family entertainment programming and educational products.

Contents

History

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Cinar

20th century

The CINAR logo used from 1976 to 2004.

After their 1976 meeting in New Orleans, future spouses Micheline Charest and Ronald A. Weinberg organized an event for a women's film festival, and worked at distributing foreign films to US theatres. The couple moved to New York and formed Cinar, a film and television distribution company.

In 1984, Cinar changed their focus from media distribution to production, and moved operations to Montreal, where they concentrated on children's television programming (including Animal Crackers, Emily of New Moon, Mona the Vampire, and The Wombles), as well as the English and French dubs of the anime series Adventures of the Little Koala and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and the Spain-originating TV series The World of David the Gnome. As a production company, Cinar was also involved in the work of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, The Busy World of Richard Scarry, Madeline, Space Cases, The Shoe People and, its most famous work, Arthur and Zoboomafoo. The firm became a public company in September 1993. By 1999, Cinar boasted annual revenues of $150 million (CAD) and owned about $1.5 billion (CAD) of the children's television market. In the late 1990s, Cinar bought the rights to all the shows owned and made by British animation company FilmFair. The company had become known for its children's programs, broadcast in more than 150 countries.

Scandal

The success of Charest, Weinberg, and Cinar ended in March 2000, when an internal audit revealed that about $122 million (US) was invested into Bahamian bank accounts without the boardmembers' approval.[1] Cinar had also paid American screenwriters for work while continuing to accept Canadian federal grants for content. The names of Canadian authors were credited for the work, allowing Cinar to benefit from Canadian tax credits. While the province of Quebec did not file criminal charges, Cinar denied any wrongdoing, choosing instead to pay a settlement to Canadian and Quebec tax authorities of $17.8 million (CAD) and another $2.6 million (CAD) to Telefilm Canada, a Canadian federal funding agency. The value of Cinar stock plummeted, and the company was soon delisted.[2]

In 2001, as part of a settlement agreement with the Société des Valeures Mobilières du Québec (Quebec Securities Commission) Charest and Weinberg agreed to pay $1 million each and were banned from serving in the capacity of directors or officers at any publicly traded Canadian company for five years. There was no admission of guilt and none of the allegations have been proven in court. In 2004, Cinar was rebranded the Cookie Jar Group.

In September 2008, William A. Urseth published an insider's book called Death Spiral. It details the CINAR scandal and how it tied into two other companies called Norshield and Mount Real.

After 14 years of legal wrangling, on August 26, 2009, the Superior Court of Quebec ruled that CINAR would have to pay author Claude Robinson $5.2 million dollars in damages for plagiarizing Robinson's work for the CINAR-produced Robinson Sucroe. Robinson had originally presented the work to CINAR in 1986, and was turned down.[3][4]

Purchase and rebranding

In March 2004, Cinar was purchased for more than CA$190 million by a group led by Nelvana founder, Michael Hirsh.[5] and former Nelvana President, Toper Taylor.

The DIC Entertainment logo used since 2000.

On June 20, 2008, Cookie Jar Group announced a deal to buy DIC Entertainment.[6] On July 23, 2008, the studio completed the acquisition of DIC Entertainment,[7] and DIC was then merged with Cookie Jar's entertainment division. As part of Cookie Jar's acquisition of DIC, Cookie Jar acquired Copyright Promotions Licensing Group and a one-third interest in international children’s television channel, KidsCo. The acquisition doubled Cookie Jar Entertainment's library of programming. Cookie Jar now has more than 6,000 half-hours of programming as well as rights to several children's brands.

DIC Entertainment Corporation

Currently, DIC Entertainment functions under the name DIC Entertainment Corporation, a subsidiary of Cookie Jar Group. Cookie Jar grants DIC independence through copyrights, sales, and shows on the air using the DIC brand name. Such sites where DIC's copyrights remain are KEWL Cartoons, Cake, Liberty's Kids, among others. As with its Canadian twin and "parent", Cookie Jar Entertainment Inc., DIC Entertainment Corporation functions as a subsidiary of the group. DIC currently has copyrights, sales, and products with 2010 as the copyright year, and DIC operates through Cookie Jar.

Recent activity

On July 23, 2008 it was announced that Cookie Jar was in negotiation with American Greetings to buy the Care Bears, Strawberry Shortcake, and Sushi Pack franchise. The deal is not finalized yet in late 2008 and with the current scenario, the transaction did not progress.[8][9] On March 30, 2009, Cookie Jar made a $76 million counter bid for Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake. Cookie Jar had until April 30, 2009 to complete a deal with American Greetings.[10] In May 2009 American Greetings filed a $100 million lawsuits against Cookie Jar and Cookie Jar filed a $25 million lawsuits against American Greetings over the Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake deal.[11]

On April 29, 2009 it was announced that Cookie Jar will develop primetime television series and hired Tom Mazza to head its new primetime label, The Jar.[12][13]

Television

Cookie Jar TV

On February 24, 2009, it was announced that CBS renewed its contract with Cookie Jar for another three seasons, through 2012.[14][15] On September 19, 2009, KEWLopolis on CBS was re-branded as Cookie Jar TV.[16][17]

Cookie Jar Toons

On November 1, 2008, This TV launched airing Cookie Jar's daily children's programming block Cookie Jar Toons which providing children's and E/I-oriented programming.[18][19]

Cookie Jar Kids Network

The Cookie Jar Kids Network (formerly DiC Kids Network) is a children's programming block that airs selected Cookie Jar programs on local FOX, MyNetworkTV, The CW and Independent stations to provide them with a source of Educational/Informational (E/I) programming required by federal law. The block is syndicated by Ascent Media.[20][21]

Television programs

See List of Cookie Jar Entertainment programs

See also


References

  1. ^ a b Swift, Allan (March 15, 2002). "Cinar Co-Founders Fined $1 Million Each, Banned From Company For Five Years". Canadian Press Newswire. http://securities.stanford.edu/news-archive/2002/20020315_Headline14_Swift.htm. 
  2. ^ "In Depth: Micheline Charest". CBC News Online. 2004-04-14. http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/charest_micheline/. Retrieved 2006-09-07. 
  3. ^ "Cinar to pay $5.2M for plagiarizing cartoon". CBC. August 26, 2009. http://www.cbc.ca/canada/montreal/story/2009/08/26/monteal-robinson-crusoe-sucroe.html. Retrieved 2009-08-27. 
  4. ^ "Montreal animator wins $5.2M in copyright battle". Montrealgazette. August 26, 2009. http://www.montrealgazette.com/entertainment/Montreal+animator+wins+copyright+battle/1932983/story.html. Retrieved 2009-08-27. 
  5. ^ "Cinar sold for $143.9 million US; new owner outlines growth strategy". CBC News Online. October 31, 2003. http://www.cbc.ca/story/business/national/2003/10/31/cinar311003.html. Retrieved 2006-09-07. 
  6. ^ "COOKIE JAR AND DIC ENTERTAINMENT TO MERGE, CREATING INDEPENDENT GLOBAL CHILDREN'S ENTERTAINMENT AND EDUCATION POWERHOUSE". Cookie Jar Group. 2008-06-20. http://www.cjar.com/press/cj_press_20080620.php. Retrieved 2008-12-20. 
  7. ^ "COOKIE JAR ENTERTAINMENT EXPANDS BRAND PORTFOLIO, TALENT AND GLOBAL REACH WITH CLOSING OF DIC TRANSACTION". Cookie Jar Group. 2008-07-23. http://www.cjar.com/press/cj_press_20080723a.php. Retrieved 2008-12-20. 
  8. ^ Cookie Jar Group (2008-07-23). "Cookie Jar Entertainment to Acquire American Greetings' Strawberry Shortcake and Care Bears Properties". Press release. http://www.thecookiejarcompany.com/news2.php?id=129. Retrieved 2008-07-29. 
  9. ^ "American Greetings 2Q profit falls 73 pct on costs". San Francisco Chronicle. 2008-09-26. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2008/09/26/financial/f080122D51.DTL&feed=rss.business. Retrieved 2008-10-10. 
  10. ^ "Bid puts 'Care Bears,' 'Shortcake' back in play". The Hollywood Reporter. April 2, 2009. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/world/news/e3ie9ac42d5eeee81584632c574212d6a57. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  11. ^ "Brooklyn-based American Greetings accuses Cookie Jar Entertainment of bad faith in Strawberry Shortcake, Care Bears deal". Cleveland. May 12, 2009. http://www.cleveland.com/business/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/business-12/1242117045312680.xml&coll=2. Retrieved 2009-05-12. 
  12. ^ "Mazza to have a hand in Cookie Jar". The Hollywood Reporter. April 29, 2009. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3i6ebcff5b127efb6fd0ec977e7a04baa8. Retrieved 2009-04-29. 
  13. ^ "COOKIE JAR ENTERTAINMENT HIRES VETERAN TV EXECUTIVE TOM MAZZA AS EVP AND HEAD OF WORLDWIDE TV". Cookie Jar Group. April 29, 2009. http://www.cjar.com/press/cj_press_20090429.php. Retrieved 2009-04-30. 
  14. ^ Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named renews; see Help:Cite error.
  15. ^ "CBS Reups With Kids Programmer Cookie Jar". Broadcasting & Cable. February 24, 2009. http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/179789-CBS_Reups_With_Kids_Programmer_Cookie_Jar.php. Retrieved 2009-02-26. 
  16. ^ "Zeroing in". kidscreen. May 8, 2009. http://www.kidscreen.com/articles/magazine/20090508/upfront.html?__s=yes;page=3. Retrieved 2009-07-14. 
  17. ^ "CBS Sets Lineup for Cookie Jar Block". WorldScreen. September 4, 2009. http://www.worldscreen.com/articles/display/22324. Retrieved 2009-09-10. 
  18. ^ "About Cookie Jar Entertainment". Cookie Jar Group. http://www.cjar.com/cj_about_ent.php. Retrieved 2009-07-14. 
  19. ^ "MGM LAUNCHES THIS TV NETWORK". MGM. July 28, 2008. http://mgm.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=559. Retrieved 2009-07-14. 
  20. ^ "Documents for "COOKIE JAR KIDS NET.A BUSY WORLD"". Ascent Media. http://www.ascentsyndication.com/Episodes.aspx?spid=E162&sname=COOKIE%20JAR%20KIDS%20NET.A%20BUSY%20WORLD. Retrieved 2010-03-11. 
  21. ^ "Documents for "COOKIE JAR KIDS NETWORK B"". Ascent Media. http://www.ascentsyndication.com/Episodes.aspx?spid=E163&sname=COOKIE%20JAR%20KIDS%20NETWORK%20B. Retrieved 2010-03-11. 

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