Viacom, CBS appoint content, digital leadership teams for ViacomCBS

MUMBAI: US media conglomerates CBS and Viacom have announced senior appointments for ViacomCBS’ content and digital leadership. These appointments, which will be effective upon closing of the merger, will enable ViacomCBS to deliver on its distinct competitive position as one of the most important content producers and providers in the world. The merger remains subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close by early December.

As part of the content leadership team, Jim Gianopulos will oversee film, continuing as Paramount Pictures chairman, CEO a role that includes oversight of Paramount Animation, Paramount Features, Paramount Players and Paramount TV.

MTV, VH1, CMT and Logo president Chris McCarthy will serve as ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks president entertainment, Youth Brands – adding Comedy Central, Paramount Network, Smithsonian Channel and TV Land brands and their respective content studios to his current portfolio of MTV, VH1, CMT and Logo.

CBS chief creative officer and Showtime Networks chairman, CEO David Nevins will oversee CBS Television Studios, the CBS Television Network’s Entertainment division, the Showtime Networks and Pop, as well as the programming of CBS All Access. He will also have oversight of CBS’ interest in The CW, a joint venture between CBS and Warner Bros. Entertainment. In addition, Nevins will oversee BET, which will continue to be led by Scott Mills as President of BET.

Carolyn Kroll Reidy will lead the company’s publishing assets, continuing in her role as Simon & Schuster president, CEO.

Nickelodeon president Brian Robbins will oversee the company’s kids and young adult-focused offerings as president, Kids and Family Entertainment, ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks. In addition to Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Nick Jr., TeenNick, Nicktoons and Nickelodeon Studios, he will now oversee Awesomeness, which he co-founded and was acquired by Viacom in 2018.

Joe Ianniello, as previously announced, will serve as CBS chairman, CEO overseeing CBS-branded assets such as the CBS Television Network (including CBS Entertainment, CBS News, and CBS Sports), CBS Television Studios, CBS Interactive (including CBS All Access) and CBS Television Stations.

ViacomCBS will also form a new Content Council, comprising the content leaders across the company and chaired by Nevins, to ensure these leaders and other senior executives are working together to maximize the use of IP and talent relationships across the combined company.

ViacomCBS will have a portfolio of consumer brands and a library of intellectual property,. The combined company’s library will comprise 140,000+ premium TV episodes and 3,600+ film titles, including ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Mission: Impossible’. ViacomCBS will also have more than 750 series ordered or in production, as well as a major Hollywood film studio, Paramount Pictures. The combined company will have a content spend of more than $13 billion – one of the largest in the industry.

“ViacomCBS will be one of the largest premium content creators in the world, with the capacity to produce content for both our own platforms and for others. This talented team of content leaders will work together to ensure we realize the full power of our brands, our deep relationships with the creative community and our intellectual property to drive our growth as a combined company,” said Viacom president, CEO Bob Bakish who will serve in the same capacity at ViacomCBS upon close.

ViacomCBS’ portfolio of streaming assets will include CBS All Access and Showtime, which deliver premium, branded content live and on-demand to millions of subscribers; Pluto TV, the leading free, advertising-supported streaming TV service in the U.S.; and targeted niche products such as BET+, CBSN, CBS Sports HQ, ET Live and Noggin.

“Our content scale will support our streaming strategy, which will build on the rapidly scaling advertising and subscription-based products we already have in the market. The executives we announced today bring complementary and deep experience in both subscription and ad-supported streaming businesses, and will work together to create a differentiated streaming ecosystem in the market,” Bakish said.

The following are ViacomCBS’ digital leaders, who will collaborate with the company’s content leaders to grow the company’s already expansive digital businesses and footprint and drive an integrated streaming strategy, taking advantage of the breadth and depth of ViacomCBS’ combined content portfolio and global infrastructure:

CBS Interactive president, COO Marc DeBevoise will serve as ViacomCBS chief digital officer and CBS Interactive president and CEO. As such, he will provide overall leadership for the combined company’s technology and digital operations across its broad range of digital assets, including its subscription, live and vertical ad-supported direct-to-consumer streaming services and major internet properties. His team will also be responsible for Viacom Digital Studios as well as its partnerships with technology, digital video, and social platforms. In addition, he will continue to lead CBS Interactive and its digital businesses, including those of the CBS Television Network and CNet Media Group and its portfolio of streaming services including CBS All Access, CBSN, CBS Sports HQ, and ET Live.

Viacom Digital Studios President Kelly Day will continue to lead the digital content strategy and initiative to create and expand original programming and branded content across leading and emerging social platforms. In this role, reporting to DeBevoise, she will look to expand this initiative from brands including MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and BET across the combined company’s content portfolio.

CBS CTO Phil Wise will serve in the same role for the combined company, reporting to DeBevoise. As CTO, he will be responsible for the global technology strategy, shared services, operations and transformation for ViacomCBS.

Pluto TV CEO, co-founder Tom Ryan will continue to lead Pluto TV, which delivers more than 200 live and original channels and thousands of on-demand movies in partnership with 170 TV networks, movie studios, publishers and digital media companies, including Viacom and CBS. In this role, Tom will oversee all facets of the company’s business, continuing to guide it both strategically and operationally through its rapid growth. In addition to further scaling the platform in the U.S. and extending the company’s category lead domestically, he will work closely with the ViacomCBS Networks International team on Pluto TV’s global expansion, including its continued European growth as well as its upcoming launch across Latin America.

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