Gloria Ponce and Sowon Sawyer have joined the WarnerMedia Kids & Family creative and programming teams as senior creative executive and vice president of programming planning, respectively. Both women report to Amy Friedman, head of kids and family programming at Warner Bros., with Sawyer having a dual report into Meredith Gertler, executive vice president, content strategy and planning, HBO and HBO Max.
Ponce and Sawyer will be instrumental in creative content development and strategic program planning, respectively, for recently launched programming blocks Cartoonito and Acme Night, as well as other content and programming initiatives across HBO Max and Cartoon Network.
“Gloria and Sowon will each be vital to creatively developing and positioning our offerings as we build audiences across HBO Max and Cartoon Network,” said Friedman in a statement. “They each bring exceptional taste and diverse industry experience to the team, and they’ll be invaluable leaders as we deliver inclusive content to kids and families wherever they watch.”
“Adding Sowon’s strategic scheduling insights and programming expertise with kids and family audiences is critical as we continue to build out and align our preschool, kids, and family offerings across Cartoon Network and HBO Max,” said Gertler, also in a statement.
As senior creative executive for WarnerMedia Kids & Family originals, Ponce oversees the creative development of live-action original content across ages 6-11 and family audiences. She currently has more than 15 shows in development for HBO Max and Cartoon Network, with an emphasis on Latinx-focused programming.
Before joining WarnerMedia, Ponce spent three years at Netflix managing international originals for youth audiences. Prior to that, she worked as a creative executive in the Nickelodeon Original Movies department and later transitioned to the Latino-focused digital content studio mitú, where she focused on crafting the company’s brand identity and scripted content strategy.
Prior to her new role, Sawyer led scheduling strategy for AMC Networks’ SundanceTV. There, she was responsible for promoting audience growth and retention. She also served as a founding co-chair of AMC Networks’ diversity, equity and inclusion committee, where she spearheaded the development of nine employee resource groups, served as a key advisor on corporate diversity initiatives, and developed mentorship and professional development programs.
Sawyer also worked in program planning and strategy at Nickelodeon for 11 years, where she helped grow NickToons from eight million to nearly 70 million homes.
She also has held roles at Honest Entertainment and Sunbow Entertainment.
Friedman’s executive team also includes: Kim Howitt, senior creative executive, who oversees the creative development of third-party animation, co-production and live-action across preschool, kids and family; Adina Pitt, whose expanded role includes leading kids and family acquisitions, co-productions and content partnerships across both linear and streaming in the U.S., and on linear in Latin America; and Joanna Rosenthal, creative executive, WarnerMedia Kids & Family.