Television Business International

Viacom UK boss named new int’l chief

Viacom’s long-serving UK chief, David Lynn, has been named CEO of Viacom International Media Networks.

David LynnHe will replace Bob Bakish, who became president and chief executive of the entire Viacom media empire in November.

Lynn was most recently VIMN’s president of UK and northern and eastern Europe, a role that covers more than 30 territories. He began leading those territories in March 2007 as executive VP and managing director.

In his new post, he will manage Viacom’s media networks and assets outside the US, reporting to Bakish. He will also oversee distribution strategy outside the US, covering affiliate agreements, VOD and TV Everywhere business.

He will be based London, but regularly work out of VIMN’s offices in New York.

Lynn is credited with having played a key role in Viacom’s 2014 acquisition of UK free-to-air broadcaster Channel 5.

“Viacom’s international business has grown strongly over the last decade and our operations managed out of the UK, under David’s leadership, have been integral to that growth,” said Bakish.

“David has an outstanding track record at the helm of our UK business, including leading our successful acquisition and integration of Channel 5, and I have great confidence in his ability to conceive and deliver an even more ambitious growth strategy for VIMN in the years ahead.”

Bakish is currently implementing a new strategy for Viacom, whose share price had eroded under former CEO Philippe Dauman, who left last year after a bitter courtroom battle with primary shareholder National Amusements.

Bakish established VIMN in 2011, and has built it into a business that comprises 200-plus channels and digital assets such as the Viacom Play Plex apps.

Upon taking on the Viacom CEO role in the interim, replacing Tom Dooley, Bakish was named president and CEO of a merged US and international arm called Viacom Global Entertainment Group. VIMN now sits within this division.

“This is an exciting time to be taking the reins, with VIMN having a vital role to play in Bob’s plans for accelerating Viacom’s growth and maximising its potential,” said Lynn, who has held titles including EVP and MD of Nickelodeon UK.

“Viacom has must-see content, unrivalled global reach across TV and some of the world’s most digitally active and socially influential entertainment brands; I believe we have very strong foundations and a clear blueprint for future international growth and I look forward to working with Bob and the rest of the team at VIMN to deliver it.”