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Richard Goldsmith, BA from the University of Pennsylvania

Adjunct Associate Professor


Richard Goldsmith is an accomplished business leader in the children’s television and animation industries who has led media distribution, licensing and merchandising and business development for major entertainment brands at companies including The Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros. Entertainment and The Jim Henson Company.  Richard is a hands-on executive who empowers multiple internal teams and external strategic partners to advance company initiatives and brands around the world. 

Richard is the President of Global Distribution and Consumer Products for Vancouver and LA-based Thunderbird Entertainment, which he joined in 2021.  He oversees distribution to worldwide media platforms and related consumer products and experiences for the company's productions, including award-winning and inspiring scripted and factual content from Great Pacific Media and animated series from Atomic Cartoons.

Prior to joining Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc., Richard was President, CEO and a Board Member of the U.S. subsidiary of animated entertainment company Cyber Group Studios based in Paris, France.  As part of the senior management team, Richard helped guide the global day-to-day and long-term business plans of the company.  He also oversaw all operations in North America, China and Australia including distribution, Cyber Group’s direct-to-consumer platforms, and content development.  He was instrumental in establishing Gigantosaurus as a top worldwide preschool brand, securing television platform and consumer products partnerships with companies such as Netflix, CCTV (China), Jakks Pacific and Walmart. 

In his role as Executive Vice President, Global Distribution, at The Jim Henson Company, Richard guided the company’s worldwide sale of content to all platforms, including television, home entertainment and digital media for series ranging from the classic Fraggle Rock to the new Dinosaur Train.  As head of consumer products, Richard managed master toy deals and oversaw global licensing and merchandising with a network of local agents.  His role also included securing production financing and co-production partners for series for major platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney, Nickelodeon, PBS and Universal Kids.  In addition, Richard acquired and distributed third-party content under the company’s HIP (Henson Independent Properties) banner, such as The Annoying Orange, and oversaw all aspects of the company’s multi-platform channel, Jim Henson Family TV, on YouTube and OTT. 

Prior to joining The Jim Henson Company, Richard was Executive Advisor for Strategic Distribution Initiatives for both the Digital Distribution and Consumer Products divisions at Warner Bros. Entertainment.  In that capacity, he oversaw special projects for the President of the company’s new division distributing WB’s film and TV content to the emerging digital platforms.  He was also charged with oversight of the international distribution of Warner Bros. Animation’s current television series in major markets, including Scooby-Doo!, Batman, and Looney Tunes, under the auspices of Warner Bros. International Television Distribution.  Prior to that, Richard served as Senior Vice President, New Initiatives and ACME Lab, at Warner Bros. Consumer Products, where he led global business development initiatives and the re-development of classic animation brands from the Warner Bros., Looney Tunes, Hanna-Barbera and MGM libraries including Wacky Races and Speedy Gonzales.  

Previously, Richard was Vice President of Programming for Chartwell Partners, media entrepreneur Jerry Perenchio’s investment company that controlled Spanish media group Univision Communications, a New York Stock Exchange-listed company.  Richard worked in the Chairman’s Office and was part of the team that acquired USA Broadcasting and launched the new broadcast network, TeleFutura.  He also led Univision’s and Galavision’s international program acquisitions, scripted production and children’s programming and was on business development teams that established Univision’s online, home entertainment and radio brands.

Prior to Chartwell, Richard was Founder and President of Hollywood Ventures Corporation, a leading distributor of preschool television series worldwide.  In the U.S., the company’s Benny Smart division became a prolific supplier to PBS stations and the Galavision network, with hit series like The Big Comfy Couch and Mi Casita, and that operated a top-viewed content and e-commerce website for children and parents.  Hollywood Ventures Licensing established The Big Comfy Couch as a retail success and top-ten best-selling toy (the Molly doll) and also represented brands such as Mr. Bill from Saturday Night Live and Ford Models and their annual Supermodel of the World TV event.  The Big Kids music venture with Hall of Fame songwriter Jeff Barry produced the feature film Jack Frost for Warner Bros., owned and operated two record labels with Warner Bros. Records and produced music for popular brands including Clifford the Big Red Dog and Where’s Waldo?  Richard sold the company to investors.

Richard began his career as an assistant, and was eventually promoted to VP Programming & Production, for TV syndicator LBS Communications, who co-funded and distributed animated series such as Care Bears and Inspector Gadget and launched one of the first children’s home video labels in the U.S., Kideo Video.  Other LBS productions that Richard managed included the primetime specials, Return to the Titanic Live! and Mysteries of the Pyramids Live!  He then joined Walt Disney Television as head of network TV specials, overseeing Emmy award-winning productions that aired on The Disney Sunday Movie on NBC, such as Mickey’s Happy Valentine Special, The Grand Opening of Disney-MGM Studios and Disneyland’s 35th Anniversary Special.

Richard has a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, Annenberg School for Communication.  He also attended the University of Southern California’s Cinema-Television School.

In 2016, Richard was appointed an Adjunct Associate Professor at the John C. Hench Division of Animation and Digital Arts at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, where he teaches a graduate-level course on The Business of Animation.  Each week, Richard invites key industry figures to speak to his students about their work and careers.  He has also guest lectured at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.  

Richard is a frequent panelist at key industry events such as MIPCOM, CES, Digital Hollywood, Kidscreen and Asian Animation Summit.  Since 2016, Richard has been a member of the Advisory Board and Industry Council of Exceptional Minds, a non-profit professional training academy and studio for animators and visual effects artists with autism.