ViacomCBS is once again changing leadership to focus on streaming and ensure the success of its streaming services, especially its late-content giant Paramount Plus. The announcement comes just a day later The Wall Street Journal reported that NBCUniversal approached ViacomCBS to join the streaming forces.
ViacomCBS on Wednesday announced title changes and additional oversight for several of its executives who currently oversee various ViacomCBS content properties, particularly for its recently launched Paramount Plus streaming service. Streaming-focused leadership reorganizations have become the norm for large parent companies of recently launched services like Disney Plus and HBO Max – and ViacomCBS has already seen internal changes intended to support Paramount Plus.
In a statement, ViacomCBS boss Bob Bakish said that the first few months of Paramount Plus “demonstrated the power and potential of our platform, as well as the audience’s appetite for a wide range of content, the all in one place ”.
Tanya Giles, who is managing director of MTV Entertainment Group, has been promoted to director of streaming programming at the company and will focus specifically on content for Paramount Plus and Pluto TV. ViacomCBS reported reaching 36 million paid subscriptions worldwide in May. But that figure is dominated by services like Disney Plus and Netflix, which topped 100 million and 200 million subscriptions, respectively. Giles’ new role, though one of many announced this week, is among the most significant changes in the company’s leadership.
CBS President and CEO George Cheeks now also holds the title of Director of News and Sports Content at Paramount Plus. Paramount Pictures Chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos is now also Director of Film Content at Paramount Plus. Bruce Gillmer, president of music, musical talent, programming and events, will oversee the music at the service, while MTV Entertainment Group President Chris McCarthy now also holds the title of Head of Unscripted Entertainment Content. and entertainment for adults.
Showtime Networks President and CEO David Nevins now also serves as the Content Manager for Scripted Originals at Paramount Plus. Emmy-winning producer Nevins was committed to award-winning productions that include Development stopped, Law and order: SVU, and Friday night lights, and his promotion as a key figure within Paramount Plus’s C suite seems smart on ViacomCBS’s part.
Meanwhile, Nicole Clemens, president of Paramount Television Studios, will also oversee the original scripted series from Paramount Plus. Finally, Brian Robbins, President of Kids & Family Entertainment, will now also hold the title of Chief Content Officer of Kids & Family Programming at Paramount Plus.
The restructuring comes at an interesting time for the company. Paramount Plus, which launched in March, is one of the now seemingly countless streaming services, all competing for subscribers. It is not clear whether ViacomCBS’s long-term strategy is a possible merger along the lines of the recent agreement between WarnerMedia and Discovery, but reports from The Wall Street Journal and L’information reported that NBCUniversal had approached ViacomCBS to team up. According to Journal, ViacomCBS declined this offer.
On the face of it, ViacomCBS is instead putting together a management team to help its rambling service compete in earnest in the streaming wars.