Genius Brands International has tapped veteran children’s and family media executive Margaret Loesch as Executive Chairman of its Kid Genius Cartoon Channel, and promoted Deb Pierson to channel President.

In the newly created position, Loesch will provide counsel to Pierson, elevated from her role as General Manager, as she spearheads aggressive growth plans for the platform. Loesch will collaborate with Pierson to advise on the development of channel brand strategy, expand its coverage and build advertiser participation.

Loesch has spent the past four decades working in children’s broadcasting and family entertainment. She has contributed to the development and/or production of some of television’s most iconic children’s programs Smurfs, My Little Pony, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, X-Men, Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies, Animaniacs and Transformers.

Loesch previously was the founding President and CEO of the Hub TV Network, a multi-platform joint venture between Discovery Communications and Hasbro, Inc.. She also was the first President and CEO of Crown Media United States, responsible for the creation of its U.S. cable television network, Hallmark Channel; and President of Television Worldwide for The Jim Henson Company, where she served as executive producer of Bear in the Big Blue House. Loesch became the founding President and CEO of Fox Kids Network, Worldwide in 1990, and before that was President and CEO of Marvel Comics’ film production arm.

Pierson brings over 25 years of experience in children’s entertainment experience, including almost six years as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for multiplatform kids’ entertainment channel, Kabillion. Prior to Kabillion, Pierson served as Vice President of Specialty Merchandise for Neopets, where she created the independent retailer merchandise and licensing strategy for the brand, bringing Neopets to market for their 25 million registered users and leading the product development, manufacturing, licensing and sales for the Neopets’ Specialty Merchandise division.

“We are extraordinarily fortunate to have the dean of children’s broadcasters, Margaret Loesch, expand on her role as a board member of Genius Brands International to join the Kid Genius Cartoon Channel as its Executive Chairman, given her outstanding background in creating and building successful kid’s networks. As founder and CEO of Fox Kids Worldwide, she stewarded the Company until shortly before its sale to the Walt Disney Company for $5.4 billion dollars and in her career, she has repeatedly generated success time and time again,” said Andy Heyward, Chairman & CEO of Genius Brands.

“There are tremendous opportunities for the channel to explore and I am honored to be working in a greater capacity in expanding the channel, and working with an executive of Margaret’s stature, to make the Kid Genius Cartoon Channel into a #1 destination for kids,” said Pierson.