From development right through to consumer products, 9 Story Media Group is one of the world’s leading kids and family content companies. Our award-winning animation studio, Brown Bag Films, is 100% creatively driven with a focus on producing the highest quality cross-platform animation with strong stories and engaging characters. The company’s international distribution arm, 9 Story Distribution International, represents over 4,800 half-hours of animated and live-action programming, provided to major international broadcasters and digital platforms.
Our in-house consumer products division, 9 Story Brands, builds global entertainment brands for kids, with expertise across creative, brand marketing, and licensing. With facilities in Toronto, New York, Dublin, and Bali, 9 Story Media Group employs over 1300 creative and corporate staff worldwide.
Vince Commisso is President & CEO of 9 Story Media Group, the leading independent creator, producer and distributor of top-quality content for young audiences around the world. With facilities in Toronto, New York, Dublin and Bali, the 9 Story family of companies has produced thousands of episodes of best-in-class kids and family programming, including hit shows like Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood, Blue’s Clues and You!, Doc McStuffins, The Magic School Bus Rides Again and more. Vince began his career in 1992 at Nelvana, prior to co-founding 9 Story Entertainment in 2002. 9 Story has gone on to earn countless awards, including eighteen Emmy® Awards and two Oscar nominations. Vince serves on the boards of The Canadian Association of Content Exporters (CACE) and Earth Rangers and holds an MBA from the Schulich School of Business. In 2015, Vince was awarded the prestigious EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the Entertainment and Media category (Ontario).
Blake Tohana is an accomplished finance executive with more than 20 years of senior management experience in the media and entertainment industry. He joined 9 Story in April 2016 and is responsible for overall financial reporting, accounting, planning and analysis, corporate development, administration and risk management operations of the company.
Prior to joining 9 Story, Blake was CFO of Tricon Films & Television, a leading independent producer and distributor of factual and lifestyle, reality, and children’s programming. From 2003 to 2010, he served as Executive Vice-President and CFO of Magna Entertainment Corp., which was North America’s largest horse racing company with media operations that included a U.S. television network and Internet wagering business. MEC was publicly traded on the TSX and NASDAQ with 5,000 employees and $1.1 billion in total assets.
Blake’s other senior management experience in the media and entertainment industry includes serving as CFO of marblemedia Inc. and Fireworks Entertainment Inc., which he helped take public before it was acquired by CanWest Global Communications Corp. Blake got his start in the industry as Corporate Controller of Alliance Communications Corp., which was Canada’s largest filmed entertainment company at that time.
Blake currently serves on the Board of Directors of Woodbine Entertainment Group and Reelworld Film Festival and previously served on the Board of Directors of Ontario Creates (OMDC). He is a CPA, CA and has an MBA from McMaster University and a B.Sc. from The University of Western Ontario.
As Chief Strategy Officer of 9 Story Media Group, Natalie Osborne oversees strategic partnerships, worldwide sales, acquisitions, consumer products and marketing. Natalie has been a significant driver of the company’s dramatic growth over the last decade, helping transform 9 Story into one of the world’s leading independent producers and distributors of children’s content. Upon joining the company in 2006, Natalie founded the global distribution division, building it into a multi-million dollar, internationally recognized enterprise. Her executive producer credits include BBC’s Wibbly Pig, the live-action film Harriet Spy: Blog Wars for Disney, and most recently, the Netflix Original holiday special, Angela’s Christmas.
Prior to joining 9 Story, Natalie served as Vice President of Acquisitions for Universal Pictures based in London where she initiated the acquisition and production of new IP. Natalie previously held the position of Vice President of Worldwide Children’s Programming for NBC Universal, where she managed the worldwide sales and marketing rollout of the studio’s children’s programs. Prior to her time in London, Natalie was based in New York as Director of International Sales for film company Fox Lorber.
Natalie is passionate about the media and entertainment sector and has been a leader in the industry for the last 20 years. She is a voting member of the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, and an elected Member of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. An ardent champion of women’s career advancement, Natalie has served on the board of directors of Women in Film and Television’s Toronto Chapter (WIFT-T) and as Chair of The Foundation WIFT-T’s charitable arm, and is a member of International Women’s Forum Canada. In 2016, Natalie was named as a WXN Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner.
Cathal Gaffney co-founded the award-winning animation studio Brown Bag Films in 1994, which has grown into one of the world’s most original, successful and creative led studios. As Chief Operating Officer of 9 Story Media Group, Cathal oversees production, technology and HR. He also remains at the helm of Brown Bag Films, which operates studios in Toronto, Dublin and Bali.
A BAFTA member, Cathal is an Oscar® nominated director, an honour he received for the animated short film, Give Up Yer Aul Sins. He was nominated for the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2009, in recognition of his achievements at Brown Bag Films.
Cathal’s executive producer credits include: Olivia, Wobblyland, I’m an Animal, Noddy in Toyland, The Octonauts, Doc McStuffins and Henry Hugglemonster.
Angela C. Santomero
Angela C. Santomero, Creator & Executive Producer of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Blue’s Clues, Wishenpoof, Creative Galaxy & Super Why has been changing the way children watch TV for more than twenty years. She is the Creator, Executive Producer and Writer for award winning kids and family content for PBS, Nickelodeon, Amazon Studios, etc.
With a Masters in Child Developmental Psychology from Columbia University (TC), Angela’s vision for integrating educational curriculum into entertaining content for kids led her to co-create, executive produce and head write Nick Jr.’s landmark series, Blue’s Clues. Malcolm Gladwell referred to Blue’s Clues as “One of the stickiest TV shows EVER made”, in The Tipping Point.
Angela is the recipient of the prestigious Peabody Award for Outstanding Childrenʹs Programming and a 2019 Daytime Emmy Award for Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood in the category of Outstanding Preschool Children’s Animated Series. She has also received several gold and silver Parents’ Choice Awards. Her book PRESCHOOL CLUES: Raising Smart, Inspired, and Engaged Kids in a Screen-Filled World (Touchstone) was released April 2018.
As Chief Inclusion and People Officer of 9 Story Media Group, Farrell Hall oversees global diversity, equity and inclusion efforts across aspects of the organization, including the company’s animation studio, Brown Bag Films. He is also an integral force in developing and establishing DEI content guidelines to further the company’s mission in the creation and production of diverse and authentic stories.
Prior to joining 9 Story, Farrell held the role of Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the Children’s Aid Society (CAS) of Toronto where he led a team responsible for advancing equity and anti-oppression within the organization. While engaged with the CAS, Farrell had a clear focus on combating anti-Black racism to eliminate disparity and disproportionality in their service outcomes for clients. Farrell also brings additional relevant experience from his time as Manager of Workplace Equity at the Peel District School Board, where he championed the development of workplace equity, anti-oppression and inclusion programs, as well as established initiatives to ensure workplace excellence.
Farrell comes from a background in Human Resources and holds the Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) designation and a degree in Business. He has a strong background in Human Resources, working in the field for over twenty years in the not-for-profit, private and corporate sectors. In addition, Farrell spent three years working in radio roles at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.