Viacom reorganises to create programme acquisitions group

Michelle Clancy | 24-01-2014

Viacom is continuing its re-architecting efforts with the formation of a programme acquisitions group to coordinate US acquisition activity across its networks portfolio which includes BET, Centric, MTV, VH1, CMT, Comedy Central, Spike TV, TV Land, Nickelodeon and Nick at Nite.

The division will unify the planning and analysis, inventory management, acquisition process and buying activity for all Viacom Media Networks' US programme acquisitions.

The group will be jointly led by David Bernath, executive vice president of programming and multiplatform strategy for Comedy Central, and Barbara Zaneri, who will move from BET to assume the newly created role of executive vice president of programme acquisitions. Programme acquisitions executives at each of the individual networks will continue to lead the selection of acquisitions for their respective channels.

"Synchronising our programme buying activities across the Viacom portfolio will afford us the opportunity to further integrate our businesses and forge innovative partnerships," said Rich Eigendorff, COO at Viacom Media Networks. "With Barbara and Dave's creative approaches to seeking and securing off-net rights, we will continue to strengthen our robust mix of original programming with acquisitions and maximise value for our brands and our audiences."

In her new role, Zaneri will lead negotiations for all domestic programme acquisitions within Viacom Media Networks, working closely with the relevant network programme acquisitions executives. She will also be responsible for all domestic multi-channel programme acquisitions.

Earlier this week, the media giant named Niels Schuurmans as its creative content head.