NEW YORK, Jan. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Viacom Inc. announced today that it has appointed Robert Bakish to the newly created position of President and CEO of Viacom International Media Networks. Mr. Bakish was previously President of MTV Networks International. In his new role, he will oversee Viacom’s Media Networks properties that operate outside the U.S., including MTV Networks International, as well as BET Networks’ international channels and non-premium Paramount branded networks. Mr. Bakish will also continue to serve as Chairman of Viacom 18, the Company’s joint venture in India, and as a member of the boards of Viacom’s joint ventures with BSkyB and Telecom Italia Media.
Based in New York, Mr. Bakish will report directly to Viacom President and CEO Philippe Dauman. He will continue to work closely with MTV Networks Chairman and CEO, Judy McGrath, as well as with BET Networks Chairman and CEO, Debra Lee, and with Paramount Pictures Chairman and CEO, Brad Grey.
Viacom International Media Networks comprises 145 television channels in 160 countries and territories, as well as related digital properties and consumer products businesses. Its premium entertainment brands MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, VH1, VIVA, TMF (The Music Factory) and Game One reach nearly 650 million households.
Mr. Dauman said, “The development of our international business is a major priority and Bob is the ideal choice to lead the global charge for Viacom’s media networks. Over his 14 years at the company, he has proven himself to be an outstanding strategist and a highly capable operational manager. Bob has served in several leadership roles in our company, including his most recent role as President of MTV Networks International, where he and his team revitalized our creative output and improved our financial performance. His wealth of experience across geographic regions and his understanding of the complexities of global markets will serve us well as we seek out new opportunities for expansion.
“The creation of this new position reflects the already significant footprint of our television brands around the world, including MTV, Nickelodeon, BET and Comedy Central, and the growing importance of continuing to develop that presence across all of our properties,” Mr. Dauman added. “We also intend to further extend Paramount-themed television channels, taking advantage of Paramount Pictures’ brand awareness and the popularity of the motion pictures in its vast library. All of this builds on the growing strength of our domestic brands and businesses, which will continue to provide fuel and momentum for our international ambitions.”
Mr. Bakish has worked for Viacom in a variety of roles since joining the company in 1997. Before serving as President of MTV Networks International, Mr. Bakish was Viacom’s Executive Vice President, Operations and Viacom Enterprises. In this role, he was responsible for strategic planning, business development and other corporate initiatives. Previously, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of MTV Networks Advertising Sales and, prior to that, was Senior Vice President, Planning, Development and Technology for Viacom, where he worked on new business opportunities and overseeing Viacom’s global satellite portfolio and its U.S. Network Operations Center. Before joining Viacom, Mr. Bakish was a partner with Booz Allen & Hamilton in its Media and Entertainment practice.