Thunderbird president & CCO, Matthew Berkowitz, steps down, sparking leadership shakeup

Matthew Berkowitz (Source: Thunderbird)

Matthew Berkowitz is stepping down as president and chief content officer at Canada’s Thunderbird Entertainment Group, sparking a shakeup of its wider leadership structure.

He will depart the Vancouver-based Heavy Rescue: 401 producer on 31 May “after accepting a new opportunity”, said Thunderbird.

Berkowitz’s duties overseeing the development of new animated and scripted IPs will be split between Aaron Behl and Kristin Cummings, both SVPs of originals at Atomic Cartoons, and Hillary Zwick Turner, SVP of scripted content, at Thunderbird.

The three executives will now report into Jennifer Twiner McCarron, CEO of Atomic Cartoons and Thunderbird, who heads up the leadership team alongside CFO Simon Bodymore, and Richard Goldsmith, president of global distribution and consumer products.

The company has also appointed David Way as CEO of factual division Great Pacific Media (GPM), with Lindsay Macadam been promoted to president.

Berkowitz was named president in December 2021, adding to his existing role of CCO of Thunderbird and Atomic Cartoons, as part of Thunderbird’s efforts to consolidate its senior leadership team and expand in both Canada and the US.

As president, LA-based Berkowitz oversaw IP development, production, distribution and acquisition across all Thunderbird Entertainment productions, including those from Atomic Cartoons, as well as GPM and additional scripted productions, such Reginald The Vampire for Syfy.

“We wish Matthew the absolute best in his new endeavor and thank him for his creativity, vision, passion, and the key role he played in growing the company to where we are today, including overseeing the launch of Atomic Originals, Thunderbird Scripted, Global Distribution & Consumer Products, and supporting the expansion of our production footprint,” said Twiner McCarron.

Commenting on the changes at Great Pacific, Twiner McCarron added: “Over the last four years GPM has reached new heights with the launch of seven new series and two podcasts across a variety of unscripted genres, and David and Lindsay are continuing to build on that.”

Berkowitz said he was “proud of everything Atomic and Thunderbird have achieved,” adding: “This is just the beginning for the company.”

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