Cartoon Network GM Samples Steps Down

Feb 9, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Jim Samples, general manger of Cartoon Network, Friday resigned under pressure following a promotional fiasco that snarled traffic in Boston and cost parent Turner Broadcasting $2 million to settle.

A Turner spokeswoman declined to comment on whether Mr. Samples was forced to resign.

“I deeply regret the negative publicity and expense caused to our company as a result of this campaign,” Mr. Samples said in a memo to colleagues. “As general manager of Cartoon Network, I feel compelled to step down, effective immediately, in recognition of the gravity of the situation that occurred under my watch.”

On Monday, Turner agreed to pay Massachusetts cities and town $2 million to cover the costs of reacting to the discovery of what was originally thought to be a suspicious device. The bomb squad was called in and roads were closed and trains were stopped for part of last Wednesday.

The device turned out to be a promotional item for Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. It was a small box resembling the old kids toy Lite Brite that showed a picture of a character from the show “Aqua Teen Hunger Force.”

“Jim’s decision to leave his post is a reflection of his regard for the business he helped build and the people he trust to move it forward,” said Mark Lazarus, president of Turner Entertainment Group, in a memo. “He has our respect, appreciation and sincere best wishes.”

Mr. Lazarus said that until a new head of Cartoon is announced, the animation senior team members will report directly to him.

(Editor: Baumann)