B'buster's Smith to Genius

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Blockbuster executive Matthew Smith has been named president of Genius Products, reporting to CEO Trevor Drinkwater, as the video company preps for a major expansion.

Genius, majority-owned by the Weinstein Co., also has upped key executives Mitch Budin, Christine Martinez and Michael Radiloff.

The moves, announced Wednesday, were made as Genius attempts to build its portfolio through new and expanding brand and content partnerships as well as co-productions.

Genius chairman Stephen Bannon said Drinkwater is positioning the company "for Phase 2 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 post Jan. 1, has been at Blockbuster for 17 years, most recently as senior vp 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' "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."

Budin moves from executive vp sales to executive vp and GM. He 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.

Martinez has been promoted from executive vp and GM to executive vp corporate strategy. She will report to Drinkwater and help develop and manage corporate strategies, business affairs and corporate communications. Martinez also will interface with key content providers, retailers and investors.

Radiloff moves from executive vp marketing to executive vp 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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