Viacom EVP Content Distribution Denise Denson Exits; Tom Gorke Promoted

Associated Press

Viacom Inc. said today that Denise Denson, the company’s EVP Content Distribution, is exiting the company, and it has promoted Tom Gorke to the role, in which he will oversee Viacom’s Media Networks distribution strategy and partnerships with domestic affiliates.

Gorke had been hired in February 2015 to the newly created role of EVP Sales and Business Development for Viacom Media Networks and BET Networks, reporting to Denson. He had been tasekd with leading sales and new business efforts for linear and digital distribution partnerships across BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Logo, Spike TV, TV Land and VH1, as well as Viacom’s joint venture Epix.

It’s the latext exec shift since Bob Bakish was named Viacom CEO in November. “We thank Denise Denson for her many years of service and her extraordinary dedication to Viacom, and wish her all the best,” he said in a statement today announcing the news.

In his previous role, Gorke played a leading role in navigating Viacom’s evolution to new platforms; before that hire, he was SVP Content Distribution and Marketing for Viacom Media Networks, where he was responsible for all of Viacom Media Networks’ digital content distribution deals.

“Viacom’s cable networks are the most-watched in the U.S., and have more subscribers around the world than any other family,” Gorke said. “I’m looking forward to expanding my work for these brands and appreciate Bob’s confidence in me and my team. It’s an exciting time – the industry environment is constantly changing and I believe there continues to be great opportunity for our brands and programming. We’re looking forward to working closely with our distribution partners around the world to think flexibly and identify new ways to expand our businesses together.”

Said Bakish: “Viacom is deeply committed to strengthening relationships with our distributors, and finding exciting new paths to bring our industry-leading content to their viewers. Tom has a track record of creative, successful dealmaking, including several major first-of-their-kind digital distribution agreements that helped launch groundbreaking streaming platforms for new entrants as well as existing MVPDs. He is a thoughtful executive who will be fully empowered to design new and innovative strategies to work with our important distribution partners.”

Before joining Viacom in 2005, Gorke was Manager of Strategy and Investments for the CBS Internet Group.

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