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Viacom poaches BBC exec for UK kids role

Viacom has hired Sarah Muller to run its kids programming at Channel 5.

Sarah MullerThe new recruit is joining from UK pubcaster the BBC where she is creative director – scripted, animation, coproduction and feature film.

She will oversee commissioning and acquisitions at the free-to-air net, which Viacom acquired in 2014, and places her in charge of the Milkshake kids block. She joins in late November.

Viacom also owns the Nickelodeon pay channel and Muller will report to Channel 5’s COO, Paul Dunthorne, and Nick UK and Ireland general manager Alison Bakunowich.

“Sarah has a wealth of experience in the children’s television industry across both live action and animation and her expertise will help us grow Milkshake into the leading pre-school destination for British families,” said Dunthorne.

“Twenty-sixteen has been one of the most successful years in Channel 5’s and Milkshake’s history, and we are confident that with Sarah’s appointment, the preschool strand will continue to go from strength to strength.”

Muller’s credits include Danger Mouse, Strange Hill High and ZDF copro Wolfblood.

Before joining CBBC, Muller was managing director at Elephant Productions and produced shows including Grizzly Tales For Gruesome Kids for CiTV.

She joins Channel 5 as it increasingly works with Viacom sister Nickelodeon. The two are coproducing Nella the Knight, while Channel 5 show Wissper now runs on Nick in the US. Milkshake runs from 6am-9.15am on weekdays and 6am-10am at weekends.