Channel 5’s Ben Frow promoted at Viacom, handed entire UK content budget

Ben Frow

Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) has appointed Ben Frow as director of programmes for its UK operations, handing the Channel 5 chief an expanded remit that includes Comedy Central and MTV.

Frow will be responsible for all content for VIMN’s TV networks and streaming services in the UK, taking up his new role with immediate effect and reporting to incoming president of VIMN’s operations in the UK, Northern and Eastern Europe, Maria Kyriacou.

The promotion, which had been widely mooted, means Frow will add the UK versions of Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon and Paramount Network to his existing remit as director of programmes for Channel 5.

VIMN said handing Frow control of the company’s entire UK content budget would allow him to “better align editorial strategy between the brands to increase content sharing opportunities across the portfolio.”

It will also enable Frow to “maximise commercial impacts across its owned and operated streaming platforms, such as My5, in addition to its linear TV networks and third party VOD platforms.”

Frow will also focus on developing formats that can be scaled across the company’s branded networks internationally, with the

Viacom, which is in the process of merging with CBS, believes the more efficient deployment of its resources this new structure makes possible, will release extra funding for original commissions for each one of the brands in its portfolio.

David Lynn, president and CEO of VIMN, said: “Ben is a creative tour-de-force who has transformed Channel 5’s reputation and helped it to outperform its competitors while becoming sustainably profitable for the first time.

“There really is no one better qualified to take the creative helm of our UK brand portfolio at what is a transformational time for our business. I’m very confident this cross-brand, cross-platform editorial structure, under Ben’s direction, will set us up optimally for further success in the UK’s intensely competitive and fast evolving media market.”

Frow added: “I love a challenge, and the chance to work across a bigger portfolio is irresistible. This new role gives me, and the teams, the opportunity to be even more creative, even more imaginative, even more ambitious across some of the biggest brands in television.”

Last week, former Viacom exec Louise Holmes revealed she would be joining Facebook as director of entertainment partnerships for EMEA. The exec, who will join the social media giant in January 2020 out of London, most recently served as VP and GM of Comedy Central and Paramount Network UK.

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