SOURCE: Genius Brands International, Inc.

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September 06, 2016 09:00 ET

Genius Brands International Continues Expansion of Its Global Distribution, Licensing, Merchandising and Retail Business, Promoting Stone Newman to President, Global Consumer Products, Worldwide Content Sales & Marketing

Industry Veteran Jo Kavanagh-Payne Joins Genius Brands International as Senior Vice President, Global Distribution, Overseeing Catalog Content Sales

BEVERLY HILLS, CA--(Marketwired - September 06, 2016) - In recognition of its continued growth in worldwide licensing, merchandising and retailing programs over the past two years, Genius Brands International, Inc. ("GBI") (OTCQB: GNUS) has promoted Stone Newman to President of Global Consumer Products, Worldwide Content Sales & Marketing. The announcement was made today by GBI's Chairman & CEO Andy Heyward, to whom Newman continues to report.

In his new role, Newman, who joined GBI in 2014 as President of Global Consumer Products, will add oversight of the Company's global content distribution business for its flourishing catalog of animated properties, including SpacePOP, Llama Llama, Baby Genius®, Secret Millionaires Club and Thomas Edison's Secret Lab, as well as an all-new preschool property currently in development. Newman will also manage the worldwide rollout of the adult animated series, Stan Lee's Cosmic Crusaders. He will continue to oversee and manage all of GBI's licensing, merchandising, retail and marketing efforts, including appointing and managing the Company's growing team of leading licensing agencies in key markets around the world.

Supporting Newman in his new role, Jo Kavanagh-Payne has been named GBI's Senior Vice President of Global Distribution, spearheading the company's worldwide content sales efforts. Kavanagh-Payne will drive GBI's distribution business, identifying potential co-production partners and advising on the development of new and acquired properties for international and domestic distribution. In addition to her role at GBI, Kavanagh-Payne will continue to serve as CEO of Foothill Entertainment.

"Stone has been instrumental in driving GBI's growth through unique and strategic initiatives, including pioneering the digital distribution strategy for the recent successful launch of SpacePOP," states Heyward. "His relationships, experience and knowledge of the global marketplace have been and continues to be tremendously beneficial, and I look forward to his contributions in realizing the goals of both maximizing the opportunities for our myriad brands and multiplying the properties under GBI's umbrella. Jo will also be a tremendous asset in meeting these objectives, and we are thrilled to welcome her to the GBI executive team."

"These past two years have been an exciting whirlwind of opportunities as we've introduced GBI's 'content with a purpose' concept through fresh, appealing properties to the worldwide licensing, merchandising and retailing communities," added Newman. "I am very enthusiastic about what we can accomplish in the months and years ahead and look forward to working with Jo in executing Andy's vision for GBI's long term growth and continued development."

"I'm very proud to be representing GBI's content catalog in the worldwide marketplace," said Kavanagh-Payne. "I'm impressed with the company's efforts in developing entertaining programming that inspires and ignites the minds of its young viewers and am very eager to work with Stone on expanding the roster of distribution partners for each of these engaging properties."

Newman joined GBI from Art + Science International, Inc., a boutique licensing agency he founded. He is an accomplished entrepreneur who also founded and built Sababa Toys from a start-up into a $30MM toy and game manufacturer with product presence in more than 50,000 retail stores. He also worked in marketing and licensing at Hasbro Toys.

Kavangh-Payne founded Foothill Entertainment with her husband, Gregory Payne, in September 2000. Prior to Foothill Entertainment, Kavanagh-Payne spent 16 years in international content distribution, handling all facets of sales as well as acquisitions and strategic planning for children's and family programming. Originally based in London, Kavanagh-Payne moved to Los Angeles in 1995 to establish and supervise the U.S. office for London's Link Entertainment.

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. Led by award-winning creators and producers, the company distributes its content worldwide in all formats, as well as a broad range of consumer products based on its characters. In the children's media sector, GBI's portfolio features "content with a purpose" for toddlers to tweens, which provides enrichment as well as entertainment, including tween music-driven brand SpacePOP; preschool property Llama Llama debuting on Netflix and starring Jennifer Garner; award-winning Baby Genius, re-launched with new entertainment and over 40 new products; adventure comedy Thomas Edison's Secret Lab®, available on Netflix, public broadcast stations and GBI's Kid Genius channel on Comcast's Xfinity on Demand; Warren Buffett's Secret Millionaires Club, created with and starring iconic investor Warren Buffett. The company is also co-producing an all-new adult animated series, Stan Lee's Cosmic Crusaders, with Lee's Pow! Entertainment and The Hollywood Reporter. Additionally under GBI's wholly owned subsidiary, A Squared Entertainment, the company represents third-party properties, including From Frank, a humor greeting card and product line, and Celessence Technologies, the world's leading micro encapsulation company, across a broad range of categories in territories around the world. For additional information please visit www.gnusbrands.com.

Forward Looking Statements:
Certain statements in this press release constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Words such as "may," "might," "will," "should," "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "continue," "predict," "forecast," "project," "plan," "intend" or similar expressions, or statements regarding intent, belief, or current expectations, are forward-looking statements. While the Company believes these forward-looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on any such forward-looking statements, which are based on information available to us on the date of this release. These forward looking statements are based upon current estimates and assumptions and are subject to various risks and uncertainties, including without limitation those set forth in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), not limited to Risk Factors relating to its patent business contained therein. Thus, actual results could be materially different. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update or alter statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

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