With the Viacom-CBS merger expected to close next month, the company announced executives who will be leading respective revenue units for the media companies.
Leading all ViacomCBS advertising activities will be Jo Ann Ross, chief advertising revenue officer of CBS. She will serve as president / chief advertising revenue officer, ViacomCBS Domestic Advertising Sales, in charge of all ViacomCBS’ media sales efforts on all platforms.
Advanced advertising revenue -- a growing part of many major media companies' business -- will be headed up by John Halley, executive vp/chief operating officer of ad solutions at Viacom. He will be chief operating officer of advertising revenue and executive vp of advanced marketing solutions, reporting to Ross.
Another major component is distribution/affiliation revenues. Ray Hopkins, president of television networks distribution at CBS, will take on the title of president of U.S. network distribution of ViacomCBS.
Hopkins will oversee broadcast network affiliation distribution agreements, revenue from ViacomCBS owned-and-operated television stations, TV channels and networks across all platforms, as well as distribution revenue for live, linear content and on-demand digital platforms.
International business will be headed up by Armando Nuñez, as chairman, global distribution/chief content licensing officer, ViacomCBS. Nuñez has been president/chief executive officer for CBS Global Distribution Group and chief content licensing officer, CBS. He will oversee all content licensing - worldwide distribution and domestic syndication.
Home entertainment will have Dan Cohen -- currently president of worldwide home entertainment & television distribution of Paramount -- as president, global content licensing, ViacomCBS, reporting to Nuñez.
The new combined company's efforts around consumer products will be headed by Pam Kaufman, currently president, Viacom/Nickelodeon Global Consumer Products. Kaufman will be president, global consumer products of ViacomCBS -- responsible for consumer products, licensing, merchandising, retail sales, consumer insights and marketing.
International-owned networks by ViacomCBS will place David Lynn, currently president/chief executive officer of Viacom International Media Networks, in a role overseeing all international media networks.
Earlier this week, Viacom and CBS announced that the registration statement on Form S-4 that was filed was declared effective by the Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, the companies announced that National Amusements -- the majority owner of both CBS and Viacom -- had approved the merger.
As a Showtime Networks alum, I have both Viacom and CBS in my blood. ViacomCBS has a massive consumer base and perhaps the largest library of television entertainment in the world, and something Tom Freston told me years ago still rings true: "I just want to know who's watching my stuff!" With all that content and all those distribution channels, ViacomCBS will be well-served to find a way to track all the users of all their products across all devices and platforms. A "SpongeBob" fan will find the show anywhere and everywhere. ViacomCBS needs to identify, market and serve the needs of that fan (and everyone like him). When they achieve that goal (which will NOT be easy), ViacomCBS will win.