Cartoon Network EVP and GM Jim Samples resigned today, taking personal responsibility for the network’s failed marketing stunt that shook up Boston last week and cost parent Turner Broadcasting and its guerrilla marketing agency $2 million in fines.
"It’s my hope that my decision allows us to put this chapter behind us and get back to our mission of delivering unrivaled original animated entertainment for consumers of all ages," Samples wrote in a memo (see below) that was emailed to his staff.
Turner Entertainment Group president Mark Lazarus will take over the reins at the network — which holds its upfront event for advertisers next week (Feb. 14) in New York — until Sample’s replacement is named. The Atlanta Journal Constitution broke the news of his resignation this afternoon.
Samples’ Resignation Letter
To my colleagues:
I am sure you are aware of recent events in which a component of an Adult Swim marketing campaign made Turner Broadcasting the unintended focus of controversy in Boston and around the world. I deeply regret the negative publicity and expense caused to our company as a result of this campaign. As General Manger of Cartoon Network, I feel compelled to step down, effective immediately, in recognition of the gravity of the situation that occurred under my watch.
It’s my hope that my decision allows us to put this chapter behind us and get back to our mission of delivering unrivaled original animated entertainment for consumers of all ages. As for me, there will be new professional challenges ahead that will make the most of the experiences I’ve had as part of this remarkable company. Through my 13 years at the company, I have found myself continuously in awe of the talented artists and businesspeople surrounding me, from those who realize their vision in creating a cartoon to those who so brilliantly deliver the animation to viewers. I will always cherish the experience of having worked with you. I appreciate the support that you have shown me.
As a friend and a fan, I also look forward to seeing your best and most personally fulfilling work yet. Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Boomerang and each of you deserve nothing less.
Click here to read CableFAX Daily executive editor Mike Grebb’s take on the unfortunate marketing stunt that cost Samples his job.