Tuesday, July 03, 2018

VIMN Kids Taps Louise Bucknole for New Role of Vice President of Programming for Nickelodeon and Milkshake!

Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) has named Louise Bucknole as its new Vice President (VP) of programming, VIMN Kids.

In the newly created role, Bucknole is being tasked with driving ratings performance and brand strength for the Nickelodeon channels and Channel 5′s preschool programming block Milkshake! in the UK.

She will look to develop British preschool content to compete with global leaders in the field, continue to develop the VIMN Kids team and evolve both kids brands to continue to serve and reach their audiences.

In her Milkshake role, Bucknole will look to develop and commission British preschool content, and will also have a business development remit to work with commercial, consumer products and events teams to expand the brand and ensure best in class activations in addition to her responsibility to source for development commissioned and acquired content.

“Louise has an incredible wealth of experience in the children’s television industry across both the PSB and pay TV sectors and her expertise in scheduling and channel planning will help us to further drive ratings improvement for both Nickelodeon and Milkshake,” said Alison Bakunowich, Senior Vice President (SVP), General Manager (GM), Nickelodeon UK and Milkshake.

Bucknole will report into Bakunowich and will have a secondary reporting line into Ben Frow, director of programmes, Channel 5.

Most recently director of programming at Disney Channels UK and Ireland, Bucknole has been described as a passionate advocate of UK children’s content. In her previous role she was responsible for leading all strategic, editorial, commercial and operational aspects of content strategy. Bucknole was instrumental in key commissions including Goalmouth, First Class Chefs, Art Attack, Furry Friends, Access All Areas as well as acquisitions such as Curious George, Miraculous, Hotel Transylvania and Pokémon.

Prior to her six year stint at Disney, Bucknole worked as head of scheduling, BBC Children’s, where she oversaw content strategy for CBBC, CBeebies, the children’s blocks on BBC One, BBC Two and iPlayer.

Bucknole said: “I am delighted to be joining Viacom International Media Networks where I will work across both the Nickelodeon and Milkshake brands to bring much loved content to kids to excite, inspire and entertain them.

“This brings together my 20 years content and broadcasting experience across the commercial and PSB kids sectors and I can’t wait to join this brilliant team.”

The hire follows a number of recent deals for Milkshake!, including a third-season commission for Nevision’s hybrid series Floogals and a pickup of the new 22nd season of Mattel’s Thomas & Friends. Recent activity for Nick UK, meanwhile, includes the launch of a Nick Jr. Adventure Centre last month and the acquisition of all five seasons of Novel Entertainment’s Horrid Henry, with a further 42 new episodes currently in development, which are set to premiere on Nicktoons UK & Ireland from 2019.

Nickelodeon is currently the number one commercial broadcaster in pay TV homes and Channel 5 Milkshake is set for its fifth year of growth.

More Nick: Nickelodeon Unveils Content Pipeline Of More Than 800 New Episodes, Details Expansion Into Location-Based And VR Experiences | Nick Upfront 2018!

Sources: ToyNews, Kidscreen, C21 Media.
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