aNb Media News, February 1, 2018

Viacom Explores Merger with CBS Corp.

Viacom announced that its Board of Directors has established a special committee of independent directors to evaluate a potential combination with CBS Corporation. The Committee has retained independent legal counsel and is retaining independent financial advisors in connection with this evaluation.

This process does not guarantee a transaction or on what terms any transaction may occur. Neither Viacom nor the Committee intends to comment further until the process is completed.

The Toy Foundation Funds Nemours Nearly $1M to Date

The Toy Foundation (TTF) has awarded a second grant of $425,000 to the Center for Healthcare Delivery Science (CHDS), a part of Nemours Children’s Health System. TTF, the philanthropic arm of the North American toy industry, is supporting Nemours’ work on a multi-phase research project to explore the impact of trauma-informed patient care and the role of play in helping children and families heal and cope with medical conditions and treatments.

An initial grant of $400,000 from TTF helped fund Phase 1 of the research, which was conducted last year. Phase 1 gathered the perspectives of patients, families, and health care providers at Nemours/Alfred I. du Pont Hospital for Children (N/AIDHC), Wilmington, DE, and Nemours Children’s Hospital, Orlando, FL, regarding the need for, and best ways to deliver, trauma-informed pediatric patient care – an approach that is responsive to the impact of trauma on children and families in health care settings.

Phase 2, which began in January, will build upon the data already collected and focus on piloting specific ways to use play as an intervention to lessen the traumatic nature of medical events or prevent traumatic stress in children. The idea is to emphasize physical and emotional safety through play to help patients and their families rebuild a sense of control and empowerment.

The effort funded by The Toy Foundation is led by a collaborative team at Nemours, which includes the Center for Healthcare Delivery Sciences, KidsHealth, and the Child Life Program at N/AIDHC. Dr. Kazak continues to lead the project, in collaboration with Jennifer Sciolla, MS, director of Child Life, N/AIDHC; Melissa Alderfer, PhD; and Jessica Pierce, PhD, of CHDS.

Alpha Named SpongeBob SquarePants Master Toy

Alpha Group and Nickelodeon announced a global master toy partnership for SpongeBob SquarePants. The new product line, which includes toys, collectibles, plush, and novelty, is expected to debut worldwide in 2019.

In the coming months, Alpha will introduce a SpongeBob SquarePants product program that engages today’s kids and the Millennial parents that grew up with him.

SpongeBob SquarePants first premiered on Nickelodeon in July 1999. The series has been a most-watched animated program for more than 15 consecutive years and is seen in more than 208 countries and translated in more than 55 languages.

Nintendo, Illumination Team for Super Mario Bros. Film

Nintendo and Illumination will develop an animated film based on Super Mario Bros.

The project will be produced by Chris Meledandri, founder and CEO of Illumination, and Shigeru Miyamoto, representative director, fellow of Nintendo.

The film will be co-financed by Universal Pictures and Nintendo and distributed theatrically worldwide by Universal.