Viacom Set To Put Channel 5 Boss Ben Frow In Charge Of Comedy Central, MTV & Paramount In UK

Ben Frow
Edinburgh TV Festival/YouTube

Viacom is ready to expand the role of Channel 5 director of programs Ben Frow, giving him responsibility for Comedy Central, MTV, and Paramount Network in the UK.

Details of the promotion are still being thrashed out and Frow is yet to sign up for the increased remit. Viacom is also in talks with other employees who would be impacted by the change and there may be a small number of redundancies.

Comedy Central and Paramount Network are currently overseen by Jill Offman in the UK as part of a broad remit which also includes production arm Viacom International Studios UK. Kerry Taylor is the executive vice president of MTV International, as well as chief marketing officer of Viacom UK.

Frow will continue to oversee Channel 5 as part of his new role. He has run the station for seven years, during which time he has been credited with reviving its fortunes, making smart programming bets, taking it upmarket, and winning awards, such as Channel of the Year at the Edinburgh International TV Festival in 2018.

The thinking behind Frow’s new role is to bring together the commissioning strategy under one leader. He will work to boost collaboration among Viacom’s UK channels, leveraging their spending power more effectively, and making budgets go further. Frow will continue to report to Paul Dunthorne, chief operating officer of Viacom International Media Networks UK.

It brings Viacom’s UK structure closer in line with rivals such as ITV, where programming boss Kevin Lygo has responsibility for all channels, including ITV2 and ITV4. It also marks another step for the Viacom brands working more closely together, given back-office functions like communications and finance have already been centralized. News of Frow’s promotion was first reported by Broadcast.

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