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Genius Restructures With Blockbuster Exec

19 Dec, 2007 By: Thomas K. Arnold

A major management restructuring at Genius Products LLC has seen Blockbuster Inc. executive Matthew Smith take over as president of the company, reporting to CEO Trevor Drinkwater.

The mini-major, majority owned by The Weinstein Co., also has upped three key executives: Mitch Budin, Christine Martinez and Michael Radiloff. The moves were made in anticipation of further growth as the company continues to grow its portfolio through new and expanding brand and content partnerships as well as coproductions.

Stephen K. Bannon, chairman of Genius Products, said Drinkwater is positioning the company “for phase two of our aggressive growth strategy, which will focus on revenue growth and improvements in margin through brand and content partnerships, content production, intellectual property ownership and the acquisition of additional revenue streams.”

Smith, who assumes the presidency Jan. 1, 2008, has been at Blockbuster for 17 years, most recently as SVP of media development and studios. At Genius, he will lead the company's continued retail expansion as well as the co-production and distribution of Genius films.

Calling Smith “one of the most knowledgeable and results-oriented executives I have encountered in the home entertainment industry,” Drinkwater said the executive will further boost Genius's “retail-centric approach to the marketing of our product.”

Smith came to the company's attention through the exclusive arrangement Blockbuster enjoys with Genius as the company's only rental outlet for Weinstein Co. titles.

“Over the past three years, I have watched with amazement the transformation of this company from a small independent to a major player in the industry,” Smith said. “I look forward to adding to its legacy.”

The hire of Smith as president comes as three veteran Genius executives are promoted to new positions.

Mitch Budin moves from EVP of sales to EVP and GM. In his new role Budin will oversee all components of sales and marketing, including field sales, sales forecasting and planning, retail strategies, theatrical and brand marketing, sales partnerships and creative services.

Christine Martinez, EVP and GM, has been promoted to EVP of corporate strategy. She will report directly to Drinkwater and work closely with him and the executive team to develop and manage corporate strategies, business affairs, and corporate communication. She also will interface with key content providers, retailers and investors.

Michael Radiloff, EVP of marketing, becomes EVP of production and acquisitions. He will spearhead Genius expansion into co-production of DVD films and lead efforts around the acquisition of additional content through new and existing partnerships.

“Mitch, Christine and Michael are all founding executives in our organization and have done a tremendous job over the past two years delivering on our promise,” Drinkwater said. “The new role each is taking on will enhance our organization's ability to continue our expansion in all phases of our business.”

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