End of an era as Michael Donovan resigns from WildBrain board

Donovan will not be involved in the management or governance of the company for the first time since it was formed in 2006.


It’s the end of an era at WildBrain, with the company on Thursday revealing that Michael Donovan has resigned from its board of directors.

A spokesperson confirmed to Playback Daily that Donovan will no longer be involved in the management or governance of WildBrain (formerly DHX Media), the Halifax-based company he forged in 2006.

Donovan stepped down from his role as CEO of WildBrain in August, following an announcement in May that the company had initiated a search for its next CEO. Former Marvel Enterprises president and CEO Eric Ellenbogen was named as his replacement, while Donovan had remained on WildBrain’s board of directors as founding chair.

Donovan served as CEO of the company from its inception as DHX Media in 2006, created from the merger of Donovan’s Halifax Film Company and Toronto-based Decode Entertainment. He first left the role in 2014, but stepped back into it in 2018 as the company undertook a year-long strategic review in which it examined all aspects of its business.

During his second term as CEO, Donovan saw the company through an overhaul of its executive team and a refocus of its content strategy, including added investment into its YouTube network WildBrain (now titled WildBrain Spark) and increased production on premium content for streaming services. The company has since signed an exclusive deal to produce Peanuts series and specials for Apple TV+. DHX Media rebranded to WildBrain less than one month after Ellenbogen took over as CEO.

WildBrain’s annual revenue slightly rose, according to its most recent financial report, moving from $434.4 million in 2018 to $439.8 million in 2019. The company saw a 12% growth in its 2019 Q4 compared to Q4 2018.

“On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Michael for his many years of leadership and vision as a founder, director and officer of the company,” said Don Wright, WildBrain’s chair of the board of directors.