Genius Brands International Promotes Michael Jaffa to Chief Operating Officer

Former DreamWorks Animation Television and Hasbro Studios’ Executive Expands Current Role to Address Company’s Accelerated Growth

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Dec. 04, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Genius Brands International, “Genius Brands” (Nasdaq: GNUS), a global brand management company that creates and licenses multimedia entertainment content for children, announced today the executive promotion of Michael Jaffa to Chief Operating Officer from his previous role as General Counsel & Senior Vice President of Business Affairs. The announcement was made today by Genius Brands’ Chairman and CEO Andy Heyward, to whom Jaffa continues to report.

In his new role as COO, Jaffa will be responsible for overseeing the business operations of production, consumer products, global distribution, as well as legal, human resources and the diversity divisions. Additionally, he will continue to oversee the business and legal operations of the Company’s digital channels, Kartoon Channel! and Kartoon Classroom!, while retaining his responsibilities as General Counsel.

“Since joining Genius Brands in 2018, Mike has been a tireless leader in driving the business forward as we lay the foundations for the next great kids company,” commented Heyward. “Heading into 2021, we are poised to take a giant leap forward with the execution of business strategies for our new brands, Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten, Shaq’s Garage, and Stan Lee Universe, joining tentpoles Rainbow Rangers and Llama Llama, and the continued rapid expansion of our digital platform, Kartoon Channel! now in over 100 million U.S. TV households, and available in virtually the entire country. He will additionally oversee the integration of the recent acquisition of Chizcom Media, the largest buyer of children’s advertising in North America. Mike’s pedigree coming from Hasbro Productions, and DreamWorks TV Animation, is another example of building Genius Brands into a powerhouse entertainment company with proven leadership from the world’s most successful companies in the entertainment and broadcast industries.”

“There are tremendous opportunities for growth in the years to come for Genius Brands,” stated Jaffa. “I am honored to take on this expanded role and look forward to working together with Andy, my management colleagues, our dedicated employees, and all of the departments across our business to continue our transformation to one of the foremost producers and distributor of enduring first-class content for kids and their families.”

Prior to joining Genius Brands as General Counsel & SVP of Business Affairs, Jaffa served as Head of Business Affairs at DreamWorks Animation Television and was responsible for all studio business and legal affairs matters, including the negotiation and drafting of hundreds of development, production, acquisition, talent, digital and music agreements. Previously, he was the Vice President of Legal & Business Affairs for Hasbro Studios, working directly with Hasbro Studio’s President, CFO, and General Manager to help create programs and launch strategy for a new studio and related network.    Jaffa has also represented various clients, including Sony Pictures Animation and MGM Studios.

Jaffa received a J.D. from New York University School of Law.

About Genius Brands International
Genius Brands International, Inc. (Nasdaq: GNUS) is a leading global kids media company developing, producing, marketing and licensing branded children’s entertainment properties and consumer products for media and retail distribution. The Company’s award-winning ‘content with a purpose’ portfolio includes the upcoming Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and in partnership with Alibaba; Rainbow Rangers for Nick Jr.; Llama Llama, starring Jennifer Garner, for Netflix; award-winning toddler brand Baby Genius; adventure comedy STEM series Thomas Edison's Secret Lab; and entrepreneurship series Warren Buffett's Secret Millionaires Club. Through licensing agreements with leading partners, characters from Genius Brands’ IP also appear on a wide range of consumer products for the worldwide retail marketplace. The Company’s new Kartoon Channel! is available in over 100 million U.S. television households via a broad range of distribution platforms, including Comcast, Cox, DISH, Amazon Prime, Sling TV, Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire and more. 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, our ability to generate revenue or achieve profitability; our ability to obtain additional financing on acceptable terms, if at all; our ability to repay our outstanding debt; the potential issuance of a significant number of shares to our convertible note holders which will dilute our equity holders; fluctuations in the results of our operations from period to period; general economic and financial conditions; our ability to anticipate changes in popular culture, media and movies, fashion and technology; competitive pressure from other distributors of content and within the retail market; our reliance on and relationships with third-party production and animation studios; our ability to market and advertise our products; our reliance on third-parties to promote our products; our ability to keep pace with technological advances; our ability to protect our intellectual property and those other risk factors set forth in the “Risk Factors” section of the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and in the Company's subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"). 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.

MEDIA CONTACT:
pr@gnusbrands.com 

INVESTOR RELATIONS CONTACT:                                                                        
ir@gnusbrands.com 

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/288cd9b6-908c-42db-8c95-845735ef2e3f


GENIUS BRANDS INTERNATIONAL PROMOTES MICHAEL JAFFA TO CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

Jaffa responsible for overseeing business operations of production, consumer products, global distribution, as well as legal, human resources and diversity divisions.
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