SOURCE: Genius Brands International, Inc.

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March 28, 2016 09:00 ET

Genius Brands International Appoints Former Kabillion Executive Debra Pierson as General Manager of Kid Genius Channel

Pierson to Lead Expansion of Xfinity On Demand Channel in Delivering "Smart TV for Kids"

BEVERLY HILLS, CA--(Marketwired - March 28, 2016) - Genius Brands International, Inc. ("GBI") (OTCQB: GNUS), a global brand management company dedicated to providing entertaining and enriching 'content with a purpose' for toddlers to tweens, has named former Kabillion executive and respected distribution, production, licensing and merchandising expert Debra Pierson as general manager of its Kid Genius entertainment channel on Xfinity On Demand, delivering "Smart TV for Kids." 

Pierson brings over 25 years of kids entertainment experience to her new position to spearhead the continued growth of Kid Genius -- a channel unlike any other entertainment offering for kids by virtue of its emphasis on content for children that is as enriching as it is entertaining -- including almost six years as VP Sales and Marketing for multi-platform kids' entertainment channel, Kabillion. 

"I consider Deb Pierson joining us as a tipping point in major value creation at Genius Brands," commented Andy Heyward, Chairman and CEO, Genius Brands International. "Her experience and capability, in my opinion, is no less important for the Kid Genius channel as was Geraldine Laybourne to the creation of Nickelodeon, or Betty Cohen to Cartoon Network, or Margaret Loesch (our board member) to the creation of Fox Kids. As we enter into the next generation of kids content distribution systems, I believe Kid Genius is now positioned to become just as impactful and valuable."

Pierson will report to Genius Brands International's Andy Berman, Senior Vice President, Global Distribution Sales, who also heads the Kid Genius channel.

"Deb has a wealth of talent, knowledge and know-how to draw from in developing effective monetization of the Kid Genius channel and we believe that her vision, innovative creativity and drive will grow the channel to its highest potential," added Berman.

"I am thrilled to be a member of the Genius Brands team," exclaimed Pierson. "Being able to combine my unique skill set and varied interests in the strategic expansion of Kid Genius is truly the perfect role for me. I'm excited to roll up my sleeves and dive in and fully expect Kid Genius to be the number one entertainment destination for kids in short order."

As VP Sales and Marketing for Kabillion (February 2007-December 2012), Pierson helped launch the Kabillion Kids VOD channel -- now available in over 60 million homes through all major cable providers -- on Comcast, Time Warner and Charter. Responsible for content acquisition, traffic, viewership and monetization of the broadband and cable Kabillion content offerings, Pierson collaborated with MSO distribution partners and also attracted top advertising partners such as General Mills, Lego, Activision and Hasbro to the platform. Pierson also oversaw the creation and launch of the Kabillion GIRLS RULE Channel, launching with over one million unique viewers and creating a new home for Bratz branded content. 

Prior to Kabillion, Pierson was VP of Specialty Merchandise for Neopets, where she created the independent retailer merchandise and licensing strategy for the brand, bringing Neopets to market for their 25 million registered users and leading the product development, manufacturing, licensing and sales for the Neopets' Specialty Merchandise division. As an experienced marketer, Pierson has also been instrumental in creating successful marketing campaigns with companies such as McDonalds, Toys"R"Us, and the Justice Retail chain. 

Most recently Pierson served as CEO of Cosmic Toast Studios, since January 2013, working with an incredible talent pool of artists, directors and producers to create live action and animation content for toy companies, networks and major brands.

Kid Genius offers a variety of programming for young viewers (toddlers to age 12) that is aligned with GBI's mission to provide "content with a purpose." The channel features GBI original programming, such as Warren Buffett's Secret Millionaires Club and Thomas Edison's Secret Lab, as well as shows from other program creators around the world. 

About Genius Brands International

Headquartered in Beverly Hills, California, Genius Brands International, Inc. "GBI" (OTCQB: GNUS) is a publicly traded global brand management company that creates and licenses multimedia content for toddlers to tweens. Led by award-winning creators and producers, GBI creates "content and products with a purpose," providing enrichment as well as entertainment. The Company distributes its content worldwide in all formats, as well as a broad range of consumer products based on its characters. GBI's portfolio includes award-winning Baby Genius, recently re-launched with new entertainment and over 40 new products; adventure comedy Thomas Edison's Secret Lab®, available on public broadcast stations and GBI's Kid Genius channel on Comcast's Xfinity on Demand reaching 21 million households; animated movie Stan Lee's Mighty 7, the first project from Stan Lee Comics, a joint venture with Stan Lee's POW! Entertainment and featuring an all-star voice cast led by the legendary Stan Lee; and Warren Buffett's Secret Millionaires Club, created with and starring iconic investor Warren Buffett. The Company is also producing a new animated preschool series based on Llama Llama, the New York Times bestselling children's book franchise; and the music-driven tween adventure series SpacePOP

GBI's wholly owned subsidiary A Squared Entertainment is a brand management and licensing company that represents third-party properties across a broad range of categories in territories around the world. The company currently represents From Frank, a humor greeting card and product line, and Celessence Technologies, the world's leading microencapsulation company. 

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