For-Profit Parent Company to Sensical, Lauded Kids Streaming Service Named A Fast Company World Changing Idea, Leverages Singular Expertise in Age-Appropriate Content to Drive Meaningful Change In the Media Ecosystem for Kids and Families
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Los Angeles, March 1, 2023 -- Common Sense Networks (CSN), dedicated to elevating digital experiences for families through their singular expertise in age-appropriate content, today announced the formation of its board of directors. The board, composed of seasoned leaders and visionaries from the entertainment, publishing, technology and media sectors, will guide the for-profit affiliate of Common Sense Media into the future as it develops safe digital media options for kids and scalable solutions to help brands and media companies engage with families.
Elected to the board are: Executive Chair Gary Knell, former Sesame Workshop CEO and National Geographic Partners Chairman; Eric Berger, Common Sense Networks Co-Founder and CEO; Mary Berner, Cumulus Media President and CEO; Nickelodeon and Oxygen co-founder Geraldine Laybourne; Robert L. Miller, former Time Inc. veteran and President/CEO of Miller Publishing Group; impact investor and entrepreneur Robert S. Townsend, and Common Sense Media founder and CEO James P. Steyer.
Common Sense Networks, founded in 2020, was inspired by the work of Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization and trusted resource to parents for the past two decades. The Networks team, led by Berger, has successfully leveraged Common Sense Media’s proprietary rubric, a gold standard content evaluation platform, to provide essential age-appropriate, family-facing curation-focused services to a broad list of brands and media clients including TikTok and was lauded for the 2021 launch of Sensical, a free, topic-based streaming service for kids 2-10. Honored by Fast Company as a “World Changing Idea” and certified by the kidSAFE+ ® COPPA Seal Program, Sensical offers families an algorithm-free OTT destination as an app on an array of streaming devices, smart TV manufacturers, and mobile devices and via three distinctive FAST channels.
Eric Berger said: “It's a privilege to partner with this esteemed board of changemakers in navigating the next stage of Common Sense Networks' evolution. With our sights set on driving meaningful business outcomes at scale for the world's biggest brands, we feel optimistic about what the future holds.” He added: “We are very intentional about executing a transformative growth strategy - one built on setting new benchmarks for creators and marketers and leads to a radically different ecosystem that fuels kids’ self-confidence and passion for learning - it's an unbeatable combination where profits and purpose align."
Mary Berner added: “Common Sense Networks has dramatically altered the business as we know it by innovating and building opportunities that reimagine media experiences for kids. It’s an exciting time to be joining their board to lead the company into a stronger future in partnership with Eric and his management team.”
Gary Knell, Executive Chair and a current Advisor to Common Sense Media, said: “I have watched Eric and his team create a thoughtful and much-needed business model that speaks directly into the rapidly changing media landscape for children. As entertainment companies and brands look to do better, I feel a sense of pride to be elected Chair of this extraordinary group of leaders and look forward to elevating the work of this truly important organization.”
Geraldine Laybourne added: “It’s refreshing to see what Common Sense Networks has built in such a short period of time, including Sensical, a platform respectful of kids and one where parents can be delighted with and see programming from all over the world. It’s a service that doesn’t talk down to kids and should be the model for the industry.”
Robert Miller noted: “As a member of Common Sense Media’s board of directors, I’ve experienced first-hand how the right approach to children’s media can make a meaningful difference to kids, parents, and caregivers. I see joining the Networks board as an opportunity to take that narrative one step further and by leveraging our learnings from Common Sense Media to build a 21st century media business that puts families first.”
Jim Steyer stated: “The collective expertise of this board is staggering and will be an extraordinary asset as we enter this next chapter of Common Sense Networks’ growth. I couldn’t imagine a more powerful team of executives to partner on our journey to improve the state of digital media for children.”
Robert Townsend, also on Common Sense Media’s Board of Advisors, said: “Common Sense Networks is filling a clear and present need in the industry. They’ve solidified their role as leaders in the age-appropriate content space and their good work consistently reinforces their essential mission as a Public Benefit Corporation. I look forward to partnering with the board as we actively pursue an aggressive growth strategy that will take us into the future.”
About Common Sense Networks
Common Sense Networks (CSN) proudly elevates digital experiences for families through their singular expertise in age-appropriate content. By leveraging Common Sense Media's best-in-class review platform and unparalleled access to its proprietary child development data and insights, CSN offers scalable, innovative solutions to leading brands, marketers, and media entities like TikTok and YouTube including ratings and curation operations; contextual content advertising; creator optimization and certification services; and a trusted entry into the kids' streaming/FAST ecosystem through its critically lauded Sensical platform, a topic-based, algorithm-free streaming OTT destination named a Fast Company World Changing Idea. Certified by the kidSAFE+ ® COPPA Seal Program, Sensical's benefit-driven content, fostering curiosity and self-esteem, is available on all popular streaming, mobile devices and smart TVs, and via three distinctive FAST channels. Follow us @commonsensenets and @sensicaltv on Twitter and Instagram.
Sheila Feren Thurston
FerenComm for Common Sense Networks