Some news from AOL as CEO Tim Armstrong moves from a media tour that started with a wave of interviews and wound up on stage at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech, to an all-hands staff meeting in Dulles today to explain some of the details in the latest plan to remake the company. The motto: Inform. Entertain. Connect.
One of the first announcements to pop up fits in with the content focus Armstrong is stressing, although it’s not an owned-and-operated operation: AOL is teaming up with A Squared Entertainment LLC, a new company founded by children’s programming vet Andy Heyward and Amy Moynihan, to distribute “purpose-driven” entertainment for kids featuring—seriously—animated versions of Warren Buffett, Martha Stewart at age 10 , supermodel Gisele Bndchen, and the late Carl Sagan. The series will be done as seasons of three-five minute webisodes that will premiere on AOL (NYSE: TWX). AOL also will help distribute the shows online “leveraging the power of social networking.” No, I don’t think this means we should be on the watch for Baby Bebo but you never know. [Update: Buffett and Stewart made cameo appearances at the Dulles All Hands, setting off a volley of tweets from staffers.]
Due this fall: Secret Millionaires Club, with Buffett as a mentor to a group of kids who have adventures and learn business lessons, and GiGi & the Green Team, with Bndchen as a supermodel by day, eco-superhero at night. The other two series are slated for early 2010: Little Martha (working title), with guess-who as an animated kid who runs an event-planning company from a treehouse, and Kosmos, based on Sagan’s Cosmos TV series.
By Staci D. Kramer