Media Queen Gerry Laybourne Joins Betaworks Board

Betaworks’ John Borthwick has today announced, via the company blog, that Gerry Laybourne will be joining the board of directors.

Alongside co-founding Kandu, a betaworks-backed technology company for kids, Laybourne is also known as one of the most powerful women in television.

She started out at Nickelodeon in the 80’s and 90’s, conceiving of classic children’s shows such as Rugrats, The Secret World of Alex Mack, and Pepper Ann.

After more than a decade at Nickelodeon, she founded Oxygen Media in 1999 and served as Chairman and CEO until she sold the company to NBC Universal in 2007.

Her latest venture, Kandu, lets people build their own games and software applications without any knowledge of how to code. It hasn’t launched yet, but we can glean a bit from the company’s about page:

It’s not okay that only a small number of people can make software. It’s as if only a few could write at a time when reading was taking off — precisely the situation in the 15th century when the moveable press was first invented. After the invention of the book, it took hundreds of years for literacy to spread. At Kandu, we don’t think it should take hundreds of years for people to become literate in the creation of software.

betaworks has always been focused on media of all shapes and sizes, whether its Digg or Dots. Most recently, the New York-based company hired Branch Media founder Josh Miller as a part-time venture partner. Laybourne, on the other hand, brings more traditional experience to the team.

Laybourne joins current betaworks board members Mike Buckley, Ken Lerer, Paul Cappuccio, Stu Ellman, Eric Martineu-Fortin, John Drizik, and John Borthwick.