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May 20, 2020 |

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ViacomCBS global distribution chief Armando Nuñez to step down

Armando Nunez & Dan Cohen

ViacomCBS’s global distribution and licensing boss Armando Nuñez is to step down next month in the latest senior executive change at the recently merged company.

Dan Cohen, who was appointed president of global content licensing for ViacomCBS in December, will take on the remit of Nuñez, who is moving into an advisory role after more than two decades with CBS.

Nuñez was named chairman of global distribution and chief content licensing officer when Viacom and CBS completed its merger in December, charged with leading the integration of CBS and Paramount’s global licensing/distribution teams.

Cohen’s vast ViacomCBS remit

He will step aside in June, with Cohen named president of ViacomCBS Global Distribution Group and responsible for monetising original content that airs on CBS, The CW, CBS All Access and Showtime. His remit also extends to programming from Paramount Pictures, Paramount Television, Paramount Players, Paramount Animation, CBS Television Studios, CBS News and the Viacom brands.

Cohen will also oversee the monetisation of the ViacomCBS library across films and TV, as well as domestic distribution and syndication sales for CBS Television Distribution, whose portfolio includes Dr. Phil, Wheel Of Fortune and Jeopardy!.

The veteran sales exec was most recently president of global content licensing for ViacomCBS, responsible for all content licensing to third-party platforms. He also led the licensing teams in setting strategy and guiding negotiations across the globe, as well as finding strategic distribution opportunities.

Previously, Cohen served as president of Worldwide Home Entertainment & Television Distribution for Paramount Pictures, which he joined in 2017. Before that he spent two decades at Disney/ABC, latterly as EVP of pay TV and digital sales for home entertainment and TV distribution.

Bob Bakish

ViacomCBS president & CEO Bob Bakish said: “Thanks to Armando’s exceptional leadership, the critical work to unify our global licensing and distribution operations is complete, and the team is moving forward with a comprehensive strategy for the future.”

Nuñez added: “When Bob asked me to lead this group post-merger, part of the plan was that I would transition from day-to-day leadership to an advisory role once the two teams were integrated and a future strategy was set.

“Working side by side with Dan, that process has gone faster than expected and is now complete. We are well-positioned wherever this rapidly evolving media landscape takes us, and I can’t think of anyone better to lead us forward than Dan.”

“Together, Armando and I have established a solid foundation for this division,” said Cohen. “We’ve built a world-class team and have a treasure trove of quality content that will propel this division forward. I couldn’t be more excited to lead this group into the future.”

Global revamp

Nuñez’s move is the latest senior exec rejig at ViacomCBS, which last month made a slew of senior exec departures at its US operations, with Smithsonian Channel’s president Tom Hayden among those departing. Around 100 staff have been affected Stateside, with Sarah Babineau, head of Comedy Central content & creative enterprises, and Lauren Dolgen, Paramount Network’s SVP of unscripted, among others exiting.

The company has also restructured much of its international business, including breaking its ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI) group into two brand divisions and three pan-regional management hubs, while departures include that of Jill Offman, the former Comedy Central exec, who was most recently EVP of ViacomCBS International Studios UK.

More recently, Bakish outlined plans to launch an international pay TV streaming product in multiple markets within the next year, as part of an expansion of its streaming efforts designed to “create a meaningful brand presence in streaming video in key markets around the world.”

The revamp is part of an ongoing restructure at the company, which was implemented following the creation of ViacomCBS, and is part of a plan to save $750m over the next three years by merging its brands.

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