ViacomCBS reorganizes international networks division under David Lynn

Multinational mass media conglomerate ViacomCBS has cemented its top line structure for its international networks division following a company-wide restructure that will see brand leadership teams streamlined under Kerry Taylor and ...
January 14, 2020

Multinational mass media conglomerate ViacomCBS has cemented its top line structure for its international networks division following a company-wide restructure that will see brand leadership teams streamlined under Kerry Taylor and Jules Borkent.

The reshuffle is intended to simplify ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI) into two brand groups and three pan-regional management hubs, all led by VCNI president and CEO David Lynn (pictured).

“Consolidating our international flagship brands into two groups will simplify our structure and more closely align our business with ViacomCBS’ U.S. brands, enabling us to share more content and resources across our different brands and extract maximum value from our content investment and libraries,” Lynn said in a statement.

Taylor, who currently serves as EVP of MTV International and chief marketing officer for VCNI UK, has been lifted to the role of EVP of VCNI entertainment and youth brands. Her remit will now expand to include international oversight of MTV, Comedy Central, Paramount Network and BET. She reports into both Lynn and Chris McCarthy, president of entertainment and youth brands. The executive has been with MTV International since 2007 and has been co-head of MTV International since 2012.

Taylor will continue to work closely alongside Bruce Gillmer, EVP of music, music and talent programming/events at ViacomCBS. Jill Offman, who previously led Comedy Central and Paramount Network internationally, will now manage the international studio business as EVP of ViacomCBS International Studios UK.

Borkent, meanwhile, will lead the other brand leadership group after being tapped as EVP of VCNI kids and family. He reports directly to Lynn and Brian Robbins, president of kids and family entertainment for ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks.

Borkent has been with Nickelodeon since 2001, having led channel operations and content strategy including programming, acquisitions, originals and digital for Nickelodeon International. Working closely with Nickelodeon in the U.S., Borkent established the international programming council and “manages a multi-million-dollar content investment across kids & family programming.”

Elsewhere, VCNI’s pan-regional leadership group will be led by ITV Studios executive Maria Kyriacou, who has been named aspresident of ViacomCBS Networks UK & Australia. Kyriacou, who joins on Feb. 3, will also handle responsibility for Ireland, New Zealand and Israel. Additionally, the executive will be in charge of free-to-air network Channel 5 in the UK and Network 10 in Australia while seeking content and commercial synergies between the company’s portfolio of networks and streaming services across these English-language markets.

Paul Anderson, who is CEO of Network 10, additionally becomes EVP, ViacomCBS Networks Australia and New Zealand with immediate effect, reporting to Kyriacou.

Raffaele Annecchino, currently president of the division’s operations across Southern and Western Europe, will become president of ViacomCBS Networks Europe, Middle East, Africa & Asia (EMEAA). He will be tasked with growing the company in European markets while also continuing to be responsible for VCNI’s mobile strategy.

At the same time, JC Acosta has been promoted to president of ViacomCBS Networks Americas, charged with continuing expansion of the newly merged company’s portfolio of networks, streaming services and associated businesses across the region.

Both Borkent and Acosta succeed the recently promoted Pierluigi Gazzolo, who president of studios and OTT for ViacomCBS Networks International. Gazzolo, who also reports to Lynn, assumed his new dedicated role on Jan. 1, having previously served as president of VCNI Americas and EVP of Nickelodeon International.

As a result of these regional changes, Mark Whitehead, president and managing director of VCNI Asia Pacific, will be leaving the company, at the end of January.

Lynn added: “I am extremely grateful for Mark’s many contributions to our ongoing success. He has played the leading role in transforming our operations across Asia to the point where they have just delivered their highest ever rate of annual growth. Mark leaves us excellently positioned in key markets across the region to continue on an exceptional growth trajectory.”

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.