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Extra: ViacomCBS names AUS, NZ co-leads; COVID training program launches in UK

Jarrod Villani joins Beverley McGarvey to lead content and commercial efforts for the newly combined markets.
November 6, 2020

ViacomCBS bolsters Australia, New Zealand operations

ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI) has named Jarrod Villani as chief operating and commercial officer for the Australian and New Zealand market. This appointment will see Villani serve as co-lead for combined operations in the region alongside CCO and EVP Beverley McGarvey.

Beginning in early 2021, Villani (pictured left) will be responsible for the combined company’s commercial activities and operations in both markets. He joins the team from investment firm KordaMentha, where he specialized in organizational transformation and sustainable growth.

McGarvey (right), meanwhile, was promoted to her new role in March and is responsible for all content and creative activities related to the company’s networks and digital properties in the region. She has led the merging of the two markets, which included the integration of the Network 10 and ViacomCBS Australia and New Zealand businesses.

Both Villani and McGarvey report to Maria Kyriacou, president of VCNI’s operations in Australia, Israel and the UK.

The pair will work to grow the company’s existing linear and subscription assets across broadcast and digital platforms next year, in addition to launching the Paramount+ SVOD service in the region. In addition to Australia, the streaming service will roll out in Latin America and the Nordics in 2021.

PGGB, BFC launch COVID supervisor training program

As the UK began its second national lockdown, the Production Guild of Great Britain (PGGB) and the British Film Commission (BFC) have partnered to launch a £100,000 (US$132,000) international program of COVID-19 supervisor training for film and TV production professionals.

Developed in consultation with the U.S.-based Producers Guild of America’s Production Safety Task Force, the High-Level COVID Supervisor Training Program will look to introduce an international standard of best practice for to ensure health and safety precautions are followed during film and television production.

The High-Level COVID Supervisor Training Programme will be delivered by PGGB and is targeted at production managers, line producers and location managers.

Backed by a £100,000 investment from the BFC, the scheme will provide a “thorough overview of the impact of additional COVID-19 measures on each department involved in production and how the COVID Supervisor’s role brings these elements together,” according to a release.

Delivery of the program will be overseen by Helen Curston, PGGB’s newly appointed director of training, who takes up her role on Nov. 9.

A call for participants in the training program will go out later this month.

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