Penguin Random House to Publish ‘Cleo & Cuquin’ Books – Variety

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One of the world’s leading trade publishers, Penguin Random House, will publish the children’s books series based on “Cleo & Cuquin,” a pre-school transmedia brand from Madrid-based Ánima Kitchent and Mexico’s Televisa.

The books will be released in Spain and Latin America by spring 2018. Also produced by Ánima Kitchent, but in co-production with Famosa, the audiovisual subsidiary of the toy maker Famosa, “Piny, Institute of New York” will count on U.K.’s ITV Studios Global Entertainment (ITVS GE) as licensing agent in the U.K., where Sony Pop is airing the series. “Piny” has already been broadcast in France (Gulli), Italy (Frisbee), Portugal (Disney Channel), Russia (Carousel TV) and Turkey (MCD Kidz).

Toy maker Clementoni will launch a line of “Cleo & Cuquin”-based toys in Spain in fall 2018 including puzzles, edukit toy cases and electronic games. Clementoni will support toy manufacturing giant Mattel, recently appointed global toy master for “Cleo & Cuquin,” a 52-episode seven-minutes TV show.

The new deal on “Cleo & Cuquin” marks the first time a Spanish company has established a licensing deal with a global toy master or a publisher such as Random House, according to Ánima Estudios CEO Víctor López who also commented that it on “Piny” it was “a great achievement” to have reached an agreement to join forces with ITV and Sony POP in the largest European market for licensing.”

Pre-school toon series “Cleo & Cuquin” is also co-produced by Barcelona-based Selecta Visión and the Moro Family’s company MAI. An adaptation of the legendary Spanish hit “Telerin Family,” a cartoon and daily jingle broadcast in which where six siblings tell children that it’s time to go to bed. It became a popular success in Spain and Mexico during the ’70s and ‘80s, coloring the now nostalgic childhood of a generation of newish parents and young grandparents.

The new brand will also include a bedtime app, web content and music video clips. Launched one year ago on the Famila Telerín’s YouTube channel, “Cleo & Cuquin’s” 17 music video clips have scored 600 million views and 1.5 million subscribers.

“Piny” re-creates the life in an unusual New York educational center which focuses on creativity, fashion and careers of the future. Series centers on Piny –the janitor’s daughter at this elite high school. A 52-episode toon TV show, “Piny” targets 6-8s.

A joint-venture founded by Latin American animation powerhouse Ánima Estudios with former executives at Spanish toon company Vodka Capital, Ánima Kitchent was launched in 2014.

In addition to Ánima Kitchent, the Spanish delegation attending this weekend’s 25th MipJunior under the umbrella Animation from Spain includes Baleuko, Ficción Producciones, Imira Ent., Motion Pictures, Pausoka Entertainment, Planeta Junior, Peekaboo Animation, Rokyn Animation, pubcasters TV3 and TVE, and Zinkia.

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The Village Voice will no longer publish a print edition

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The Village Voice, the oldest and best-known of the alternative weekly newspapers, announced today that it will no longer publish a print edition.

The decision was made by new owner Peter Barbey, who emphasized that this isn’t the end of The Voice itself — the company says the publication will “maintain its iconic progressive brand with its digital platform and a variety of new editorial initiatives,” plus “a full slate of events that will include The Obie Awards and The Pride Awards.”

The Voice has changed owners several times in the past decade-plus. Its parent company was acquired by rival New Times Media back in 2005, which then sold the newspapers to a new holding company called the Voice Media Group in 2012. The holding company, in turn, sold The Voice to Barbey three years later.

No doubt we’ll see many eulogies for the printed paper, which was founded in 1955. In my case, The Voice and its sister paper the LA Weekly were the publications that made me want to be a journalist in the first place, and where I fantasized about working all through my high school and college years.

While the announcement is being greeted as the end of an era in journalism, Barbey’s press release warns against nostalgia (“to which even he admitted to being prone”). It says print distribution has increased to 50 percent since Barbey became owner in 2015, and that the website has seen monthly growth in the double digits since a redesign in May.

So why shutter the print edition? Well, it’s no secret that ad-supported journalism models are under stress, and the release alludes to one of the bigger challenges for alt weeklies — namely their reliance on sex- and escort-related ads, which Barbey eliminated when he took over.

“I first read The Village Voice in print as a student in the 1970s — that was how I first encountered it and how it became as important to me as it did,” Barbey said. “But the most powerful thing about the Voice wasn’t that it was printed on newsprint or that it came out every week. It was that The Village Voice was alive, and that it changed in step with and reflected the times and the ever-evolving world around it.”

For readers like me, who mainly read The Voice online, this news may make more of a symbolic difference than a practical one (like the newsroom’s move to Wall Street a few years ago). But while the announcement doesn’t include any details, it will almost certainly come with cost-cutting and layoffs.

Featured Image: Alec Perkins/Flickr UNDER A CC BY 2.0 LICENSE

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