Viacom ups Keenan, Armstrong

Viacom International Media Networks has promoted Katie Keenan to head of acquisitions for both Channel 5 and VIMN UK, and has upped Michael Armstrong (pictured) to exec VP and GM of international brand development for VIMN.
December 11, 2014

Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) has promoted Katie Keenan to head of acquisitions for both Channel 5 and VIMN UK, and has upped Michael Armstrong (pictured) to exec VP and GM of international brand development for VIMN.

In her expanded role, Keenan – who previously served as head of acquisitions for only Channel 5 – will have oversight of program acquisitions for all the company’s TV channels in the UK, and will also be the UK liaison with U.S. studios and distributors.

Her duties further include working with the acquisition and programming teams for Channel 5, Comedy Central and MTV to deliver programming requirements, as well as sharing content between the brands.

The exec will continue reporting to Channel 5′s director of programming Ben Frow, but she will also work with Jill Offman, senior VP and managing director of Comedy Central UK, on that network’s acquisitions.

Keenan joined Channel 5 in 2006 as deputy controller of acquisitions, and in 2010 was named head of acquisitions. Prior to this, she worked in acquisitions and business and legal affairs at UKTV and Channel 4, respectively.

In other news, Michael Armstrong – the former senior VP and GM of BET International and Paramount Pictures Channels – has been named the executive VP and GM of international brand development for VIMN.

In this role, his responsibilities include the identification of new market opportunities for the launches of nets BET, Paramount and Spike, and the oversight of strategy, branding and operations around the launches. He will also spearhead the creation and distribution of Spike internationally.

Finally, VIMN has named Vanessa Brookman and Craig Morris as programming leads for 5* and Spike UK, respectively, with the latter net set to launch next spring.

Morris also serves as head of channel management at Channel 5 and Brookman is VP of programming for MTV UK. Both will report to Frow in their new roles, and Brookman will also report to Kerry Taylor, senior VP and GM of MTV UK.

“Viacom can now call on exceptional executive talent – like Katie, Craig and Vanessa – within both Channel 5 and our pay-TV businesses to strengthen our overall UK operations,” said David Lynn, president of VIMN UK, in a statement. “Our UK channels buy a lot of U.S. content and it makes both financial and creative sense to centralize our approach in this important area of our business.”

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.