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Nick Increases Emphasis On Gaming And Virtual Worlds By Carving Out New Divisions

MTV Networks’ (NYSE: VIA) Nickelodeon Kids and Family Group is continuing its emphasis on online gaming and virtual worlds by carving out two separate divisions around those efforts, the company told me earlier today. MTVN has upped two execs from each area to run the new units, each as SVP and general manager: Dave Williams will run the Games Group, moving up from SVP/GM of MTVN’s existing casual gaming sites Shockwave and AddictingGames, while Kyra Reppen, who oversees the Neopets community site, will head the Virtual Worlds Group. Williams and Reppen will report to Steve Youngwood, Nick’s EVP-digital media.

Games: Nick’s gaming strategy calls for it to add 1,600 new games in 2008 to its library of 5,000 games and invest $100 million in the casual games space. Williams, who will be based in San Francisco, is charged with adding subscription game services, licensing and self-publishing businesses. He’ll also partner with Nick