Southern Star Group
(formerly known as Southern Star Productions
, Southern Star/Hanna-Barbera Australia
& Taft-Hardie Group Pty. Ltd.
) is Australia's largest independent television production and distribution group.
It began life in 1972 as Hanna-Barbera Pty. Ltd. (Australia)
, an Australian division of Hanna-Barbera
. In 1974, the Hamlyn Group
acquired 50% of Hanna-Barbera Australia and appointed Neil Balnaves as managing director. In 1978, James Hardie Industries
acquired the Hamlyn Group, and in 1979, Balnaves was promoted to managing director of the entire Hamlyn Group.
In 1983, James Hardie Industries and Hanna-Barbera corporate parent Taft Broadcasting
reorganized the division as Taft-Hardie Group Pty. Ltd.
In 1984, the company established a division in Los Angeles
known as Southern Star Productions
, headed by Buzz Potamkin. Programs produced by this division would be animated at Hanna-Barbera's studios in Sydney, and carried the name Southern Star/Hanna-Barbera Australia.
In 1988, Neil Balnaves led an A$11 million management buyout
of Taft-Hardie, reorganizing the company as Southern Star Group
. The Sydney animation facilities were also sold, while the Los Angeles division continued to operate until 1991 when it was sold to Turner Broadcasting Systems
In April 2004, the company was acquired by Southern Cross Broadcasting
and, in 2007, by Fairfax Media
. Major divisions are......