Thursday, January 05, 2017

Viacom Names Sarah Levy Chief Operating Officer of Global Entertainment Group

Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), the parent company of the Nickelodeon brand, has announced in a press release the appointment of Sarah Levy as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Viacom's Global Entertainment Group, effective immediately.


In this newly created role, Levy will oversee operations and strategy for MTV, Comedy Central, VH1, Spike, CMT, TV Land, Logo and Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) and manage the following functions for the Group: Production Management and Operations, Digital, Strategy and Business Development, Research, and Content & Programming Enterprises. Sarah will also help guide Content Distribution, Finance, Business and Legal Affairs and Human Resources functions across these networks. She will report directly to President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bob Bakish.

Bob Bakish said, “Viacom is committed to making the changes necessary to enhance performance, and we are deeply focused on increasing coordination and collaboration across our individual brands. Aligning these network operations under Sarah represents an important step forward to becoming a stronger and more integrated organization. In Sarah’s nearly 20 years at Viacom, she has established a strong track record of success, and has been a key leader at Nickelodeon, helping to drive the network’s long-range strategy and the continued dominance of the brand across every screen and revenue stream.”

Levy said, “I am excited to take on this new role and look forward to working closely with Viacom’s extraordinary operations teams. By taking a holistic view of our networks and establishing a unified and complementary strategy, we will capture the many opportunities that exist to optimize our portfolio for the benefit of our company, distributors and audiences.”

Levy most recently served as COO of the Viacom Kids & Family Group and COO of Nickelodeon prior to that role. During her 18-year tenure at Viacom, she has overseen various businesses and departments ranging from Consumer Products to TV Networks to Ad Sales. Her many achievements include the acquisition and development of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise, which has become a category-leading cross-platform success, generating more than $5 billion at retail and over $700 million at the global box office. She has led the way in expanding the Nickelodeon brand to new businesses and has developed key strategic partnerships in consumer products and recreation. She began her career with Nickelodeon in 1998 as Director of Business Development.

Levy received a B.A. degree in Economics from Harvard College and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. Prior to business school, she worked at The Walt Disney Co. and at Goldman Sachs & Co.

Below is the memo from Viacom CEO Bob Bakish announcing Levy’s promotion, via Variety:

"Team,

Happy New Year and welcome back! I hope you had a restful and happy holiday season.

I’m pleased to start the New Year by announcing our first Global Entertainment Group (GEG) executive appointment. Sarah Levy, a long-time member of the Nickelodeon team, has been appointed Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Global Entertainment Group, effective immediately.

In this new role, Sarah will take a holistic approach to overseeing strategy and operations for the GEG networks, which include MTV, Comedy Central, VH1, Spike, TV Land, CMT, Logo and Viacom International Media Networks. She will report directly to me and have oversight of the following functions across the GEG group: Operations, Production Management, Digital, Strategy & Business Development, Research, Content & Programming Enterprises, and Content Distribution for GEG. Sarah will also work closely with the Finance, Business & Legal Affairs and Human Resources functions.

Many of you will know Sarah, who’s been part of the Viacom family for nearly 20 years, most recently serving as COO of the Kids and Family Group, and COO of Nickelodeon prior to that role. During this time, she’s been a key driver of Nickelodeon’s long-range strategy and the continued growth and dominance of the Nickelodeon brand across every screen and revenue stream. Over her tenure, Sarah has overseen a wide range of Nickelodeon departments from Ad Sales to Consumer Products to managing the Nicktoons and TeenNick networks. Her many achievements include the acquisition and incredible growth of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise, which has become a massive cross-platform success, generating more than $700 million at the global box office and over $5 billion at retail. She spearheaded our partnership with Spin Master Entertainment for the number-one preschool property PAW Patrol, and has helped develop other key strategic partnerships in consumer products and recreation.

Sarah comes to us at a time when the Nick brand and organization could not be in a stronger place. Under Cyma’s leadership, Nick just finished its second straight year at number one with kids and total viewers, with many of the top shows and ever-increasing share of mind with kids. In addition, the network continues to build its leading consumer products business, and is growing its strong presence in key markets overseas. Nickelodeon’s success has always been due to its incredibly talented team, and I am fully confident that they have the skills, resources and creativity to stay #1 for years to come.

Please join me in congratulating Sarah on her new role. I’ve known her for years and she is a dynamic executive, fantastic strategist and energizes everyone around her – a perfect fit for this important new position. As I’ve said before, I truly believe we need to work in a more coordinated and collaborative way to realize Viacom’s full potential, including better sharing of resources and expertise. By aligning GEG operations, we’re taking an important step towards becoming a more integrated organization.

Best,
Bob"

Viacom is home to premier global media brands that create compelling television programs, motion pictures, short-form content, apps, games, consumer products, social media experiences, and other entertainment content for audiences in more than 180 countries. Viacom's media networks, including Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, Spike, BET, CMT, TV Land, Nick at Nite, Nick Jr., Channel 5 (UK), Logo, Nicktoons, TeenNick and Paramount Channel, reach over 3.8 billion cumulative television subscribers worldwide. Paramount Pictures is a major global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment.

For more information about Viacom and its businesses, visit www.viacom.com. Keep up with Viacom news by following Viacom's blog at blog.viacom.com and Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/viacom.
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