Genius Brands International has appointed Margaret Loesch as Executive Chairman of Kartoon Channel!, which will be available in over 100 million U.S. television households and 200 million mobile devices, launching June 15. David Neuman, former President of Walt Disney Television, has been named Chief Creative Officer of Kartoon Channel!, and will work closely with Loesch and General Manager Caroline Tyre.
“I have known and admired Margaret and David for many years. There are no two more accomplished executives in our industry than Margaret Loesch and David Neuman. One doesn’t become the President of multiple children’s networks, or the President of Walt Disney Television, respectfully, without a reputation of being ‘Best in Class’. Their collective knowledge and relationships with the advertiser community, the creative community, and the distribution community in kid’s broadcasting is at the pinnacle of the field. They play to win, and nothing less,” said Andy Heyward, CEO of Genius Brands.
“Having Margaret and David leading Kartoon Channel!, along with General Manager Caroline Tyre and Director of Content and Acquisitions Mark Shoeman, is going to be a tremendous jump start to creating viewership and market share, advertiser demand, and attracting the most powerful creative content and marketing in the field.”
Margaret Loesch was the founding president and CEO of Fox Kids Networks Worldwide, growing the channels across all metrics, where it was eventually sold to the Walt Disney Company for $5.5 billion. During this time, she launched a multitude of hit series, including Power Rangers, growing Fox Kids into the top children’s program service on television.
Prior to Fox Kids, Loesch served as President & CEO of Marvel Productions, and previously, President of The Jim Henson Company, and Founding President & CEO of the U.S. Hallmark Channel and Crown Media U.S. Most recently, she served as President of the HUB which was a joint venture between Hasbro Toys and Discovery Communications. Her resume includes launching some of the most successful animated children’s properties in the world, including Batman, Spider-Man, Steven Spielberg’s Animaniacs, Transformers, My Little Pony, X-Men, Muppet Babies and Fraggle Rock.
As President of Walt Disney Television and Touchstone Television, David Neuman oversaw The Wonderful World of Disney, Boy Meets World, Ellen and the then #1 sitcom on television, Home Improvement. Prior to that, as VP of Comedy at NBC, he oversaw iconic series such as Cheers, Family Ties, Golden Girls and ALF. Under his management, NBC series received over 100 Emmy Awards.
“I have admired David’s accomplishments and reputation as an innovator and magnet for talent for years and have had the good fortune to work extensively with Andy over the years,” said Loesch. “This is a wonderful opportunity to work with both David and Andy, and the Genius Brands’ team where I will oversee and provide advice on the creation of a new destination for kids and their families.”
Neuman commented, “The creative community is poised for new content and new ways of delivering it to today’s kids who have grown up in an on-demand non-linear world, and I look forward to hitting the ground running as we gear up for a massive June 15 launch.”
Kartoon Channel! is a digital channel for kids 2-11 to access over 4,000 episodes of premium entertaining, enriching and educational content anytime, anywhere in a safe environment. The channel features content from Genius Brands’ programming catalog and from creators around the world, including Warren Buffett’s Secret Millionaires Club, Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab, Baby Genius, Martha Stewart & Friends, Stan Lee’s Mighty 7, Gisele Bündchen’s Gisele & The Green Team, Gummi Bears, Shark Academy, DaJammies, Amber the Ambulance, Dino the Dinosaur, Ethan the Dump Truck, IncrediTales, OneZeez, Super Geek Heroes and many more.
“There is a huge appetite for quality children’s content that is family-friendly and safe,” Heyward added. “No less important, is having it available for free and with no subscription fees will be compelling now to more and more parents who are looking to provide quality children’s entertainment options for their kids. It will be equally important to advertisers, who are increasingly finding fewer channels to reach viewers, in a universe dominated by pay services such as Netflix and Disney+. Kartoon Channel! will be like a ‘Netflix for kids,’ except it is free.”
Genius Brands’ current platforms include DISH, Amazon Prime, Sling TV, Comcast’s Xfinity on Demand, Roku, Apple TV and Apple iOS, Android, Cox, Tubi, and Xumo, with all transitioning into carrying Kartoon Channel. New platforms launching Kartoon Channel content include SelectTV, RedBox, Plex and Canela Media.