Genius Brands International has expanded global consumer products president Stone Newman‘s remit to include worldwide content distribution, as the California-based entertainment company looks to boost its content catalog amid growing its licensing, merchandising and retail programs for properties like SpacePOP.
In his new role as president of global consumer products, worldwide content sales and marketing, Newman will oversee GBI’s global content distribution business for animated properties including SpacePOP (which launched on YouTube in June), Llama Llama and Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab.
Newman will also manage a new preschool property currently in development, as well as the rollout of adult-skewing animated series Stan Lee’s Cosmic Crusaders. Newman will continue to manage GBI’s licensing, merchandising, retail and marketing efforts, reporting to GBI chairman and CEO Andy Heyward.
To support Newman in his new role, Jo Kavanagh-Payne has been named SVP of global distribution, where she will spearhead GBI’s international content sales efforts, drive its distribution business, identify potential co-production partners and advise on the development of new and acquired properties. Kavanagh-Payne will also continue to serve as CEO of Santa Barbara-based Foothill Entertainment in addition to her new position with GBI.
Before joining GBI in 2014, Newman founded the boutique licensing agency Art + Science International, as well as the toy and game manufacturer Sababa Toys. Kavanagh-Payne, who founded Foothill Entertainment with her husband Gregory Payne, has more than 16 years of experience in international content distribution.