Genius Brands International and A Squared Entertainment have merged to form an intellectual property and multimedia content creation and distribution company.
The two companies will be consolidated under the Genius Brands International banner, which plans to utilize its combined strengths to build on its “content with a purpose” positioning.
In addition to producing original content with subject matter experts, the company will develop interactive digital entertainment in all formats including broadcast, online, mobile and tablets. A comprehensive consumer products program will be created to extend into other areas outside of digital media where kids play and learn.
Andy Heyward, formerly chief executive officer of DIC Entertainment and co-president of A Squared, will assume the role of chairman and chief executive officer of Genius Brands International; Amy Moynihan Heyward, formerly co-president of A Squared, will serve as president; and Klaus Moeller, currently chief executive officer of Genius, will become Genius Brands’ vice president of special markets and will continue on as a member of the company’s board of directors.
“This merger brings together complementary media companies that are dedicated to providing entertainment that is as enriching as it is entertaining for kids,” says Heyward. “Through this merger, we are creating the first multi-media IP creation and brand management company to exclusively provide value-driven content for kids, from infancy to their pre-teen years, in multiple formats around the world.”
The new Genius Brands International board of directors will consist of former California Governor Gray Davis; Jeff Weiss, president and chief operating officer of American Greetings; Lynne Segall, publisher and senior vice president of The Hollywood Reporter; Will McDonough, founding partner of Atlas Merchant Capital, formerly a partner at Goldman Sachs; and Bernard Cahill, co-founder of ROAR. Moeller, Heyward and Moynihan Heyward will complete the board of directors.
“A Squared, with its long-standing relationships throughout the international broadcast community, will be able to bring Genius Brands’ content to the global IP marketplace, on a much larger scale than we ever did before,” says Moeller. “In turn, Genius Brands has well-established direct distribution channels for both multi-media content and consumer products in the U.S. that will enable the company to reach incremental consumers outside of the traditional broadcast and retail marketplace. Brands such as Stan Lee’s Mighty Seven and Warren Buffett’s Secret Millionaires Club greatly enhance the company’s portfolio, and are just a few examples of the new products we will deliver.”