Thursday, October 31, 2019

Viacom and CBS Announce ViacomCBS Leadership for Lines of Revenue

Viacom and CBS Announce ViacomCBS Leadership for Lines of Revenue


October 30, 2019 12:08 PM Eastern Daylight Time

NEW YORK--CBS (NYSE: CBS.A, CBS) and Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA) today announced senior leadership appointments across ViacomCBS’ revenue lines. The appointments, effective upon closing of the deal to combine CBS and Viacom, will enable ViacomCBS to drive strong, multifaceted opportunities with distributors, advertisers and other partners.

“These appointments mark an important step in the integration of CBS and Viacom,” said Bob Bakish, President and Chief Executive Officer, Viacom, who will serve as President and Chief Executive Officer of ViacomCBS upon close. “The seasoned executives we announced today will capitalize on ViacomCBS’ must-watch programming, iconic library and franchises, as well as its global production capacity to drive important new distribution, content licensing and advertising opportunities all over the world.”

With 22% of television viewership in the U.S., the highest share of broadcast and cable viewing across all key audience demographics, and strength in every key category, including News, Sports, General Entertainment, Pop Culture, Comedy, Music and Kids, ViacomCBS will be a first-choice commercial partner. The combined company will have a portfolio of powerful consumer brands, including CBS, Showtime, Nickelodeon, MTV, BET, Comedy Central and Paramount Network, as well as one of the largest libraries of iconic intellectual property, spanning every key genre and addressing consumers of all ages and demographics.

Below are ViacomCBS’ leaders across revenue lines:

- Jo Ann Ross, President and Chief Advertising Revenue Officer, CBS, will serve as President and Chief Advertising Revenue Officer, ViacomCBS Domestic Advertising Sales. Ross will direct all of ViacomCBS’ multiplatform media sales efforts, leading an integrated ad sales team that will drive revenue by connecting agency partners and advertisers with the company’s unmatched engagement, reach and innovative solutions.
-- John Halley, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Ad Solutions, Viacom, will serve as Chief Operating Officer, Advertising Revenue, and Executive Vice President, Advanced Marketing Solutions, reporting to Ross. In this role, Halley will oversee commercial and business operations for the unified advertising team, as well as ViacomCBS’ portfolio of differentiated advanced advertising and marketing solutions across its linear, digital and social footprint.

- Ray Hopkins, President of Television Networks Distribution, CBS, will serve as President, U.S. Network Distribution, ViacomCBS, overseeing the combined company’s broadcast network affiliation distribution agreements, as well as domestic distribution of the company’s owned and operated television stations, channels and networks across all platforms. He will also drive ViacomCBS’ live linear content and on-demand digital distribution deals with third-party platforms.

- Armando Nuñez, President and CEO, CBS Global Distribution Group, and Chief Content Licensing Officer, CBS, will serve as Chairman, Global Distribution and Chief Content Licensing Officer, ViacomCBS, overseeing all content licensing, including worldwide distribution and domestic syndication, for ViacomCBS-owned programming to third-party platforms.
-- Dan Cohen, President of Worldwide Home Entertainment & Television Distribution, Paramount, will serve as President, Global Content Licensing, ViacomCBS, reporting to Nuñez.

- Pam Kaufman, President, Viacom/Nickelodeon Global Consumer Products, will serve as President, Global Consumer Products, ViacomCBS, and will be responsible for the combined company’s consumer products business, including global oversight of product and business development, licensing, merchandising, retail sales, consumer insights and marketing.

- David Lynn, President and CEO of Viacom International Media Networks, will oversee the combined company’s international media networks, including Network 10 in Australia.

The merger remains subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close by early December.

Biographies:


Jo Ann Ross, President and Chief Advertising Revenue Officer, CBS, will serve as President and Chief Advertising Revenue Officer, ViacomCBS Domestic Advertising Sales Credit: CBS Corporation

Jo Ann Ross is the first woman to serve as sales chief of a broadcast network and the longest-running sales head in broadcast television. A 27-year veteran of CBS with 19 years as the company’s sales leader, Ross was promoted to President and Chief Advertising Revenue Officer, CBS Corporation in August 2017, overseeing the company’s multiplatform advertising sales effort. Ross previously served as President, Network, Sales, CBS Television Network, during which time she oversaw all sales for CBS Entertainment, Sports, Daytime, News and Late Night. Prior to joining CBS in 1992, she worked at ABC Network for three years. She has received numerous industry accolades, including the Gracies Leadership Award from the Alliance of Women in Media, the IRTS’ Hall of Mentorship Award and being enshrined in the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame in 2013. She has also been named to The Hollywood Reporter’s “100 Most Powerful Women in Entertainment,” “AdWeek 50,” and Multichannel News’ Wonder Women Class of 2019. A cancer survivor, Ross has been a longtime supporter of MSKCC’s annual Cycle for Survival. She also serves on the board of directors of the John A. Reisenbach Foundation, the Ad Council, the International Radio and Television Society, and FourBlock, an organization with a mission to ensure that all veterans have the resources they need to transition to life and a new career when returning back home.


John Halley, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Ad Solutions, Viacom, will serve as Chief Operating Officer, Advertising Revenue, and Executive Vice President, Advanced Marketing Solutions Credit: Viacom

John Halley has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Ad Solutions, Viacom since 2013. In this role, Halley oversees the company's pricing, inventory, commercial operations, finance and business development functions for Viacom’s ad sales portfolio across all of its brands, including MTV, VH1, BET, Comedy Central, Paramount Network and Nickelodeon. As head of Viacom’s Advanced Marketing Solutions business, Halley steers Viacom’s advertising product suite and go-to-market strategy across its digital, social and advanced advertising offerings. He is the former Chairman of OpenAP and currently serves on the consortium’s Board of Directors.


Ray Hopkins, President of Television Networks Distribution, CBS, will serve as President, U.S. Network Distribution, ViacomCBS Credit: CBS Corporation

Ray Hopkins has served as President of Television Networks Distribution, CBS Corporation, since joining the company in June 2013, securing retransmission and affiliation agreements for CBS’ broadcast and cable networks, including the CBS Television Network, Showtime Networks, CBS Sports Network, Smithsonian Networks and Pop. He also has oversight of all distribution deals of the CBS Network to more than 40 affiliated television station groups throughout the country. An industry veteran, Hopkins has 30 years of experience, including nine years as Chief Operating Officer of YES Network (Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network), where he was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the company’s affiliate sales, legal, finance, business development, new media, marketing, human resources and communications departments. Previously, Hopkins served in senior affiliate sales and marketing roles at Gemstar-TV Guide and FOX. Hopkins serves on the board of the cable industry’s T. Howard Foundation.


Armando Nuñez, President and CEO, CBS Global Distribution Group, and Chief Content Licensing Officer, CBS, will serve as Chairman, Global Distribution and Chief Content Licensing Officer, ViacomCBS Credit: CBS Corporation

Armando Nuñez has served as President and Chief Executive Officer, CBS Global Distribution Group, and Chief Content Licensing Officer, CBS Corporation, overseeing content licensing of CBS-owned programming to domestic and international distribution partners across all platforms. In this role, he has monetized original content that airs on the CBS Television Network, The CW, CBS All Access, SHOWTIME and non-CBS platforms, as well as a large television library. Nuñez also oversees CBS Television Distribution, which produces and distributes industry-leading franchises, such as “Entertainment Tonight,” “Judge Judy” and “Wheel of Fortune.” He played a key role in CBS’s acquisition and management of Network 10 in Australia and CBS channel ventures in the UK and EMEA. Nunez joined CBS to run the Company’s international business in 1999 and has held senior leadership positions in international media for more than 25 years. Nuñez has been recognized as a major television influencer on lists by The Hollywood Reporter, Hispanic Magazine and Variety. Recently, he was honored with Variety’s International Achievement in TV Award and was inducted into the 2019 class of the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame. Nuñez is a member of the board and co-chair of the global committee of NATPE International, as well a member of the board and executive committee of the International Council of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS).


Dan Cohen, President of Worldwide Home Entertainment & Television Distribution, Paramount, will serve as President, Global Content Licensing, ViacomCBS Credit: Paramount Pictures

Dan Cohen has served as President of Worldwide Home Entertainment and Television Distribution at Paramount Pictures since February 2019. Prior to this role, Cohen served as Paramount’s President of Worldwide Television Licensing. Before joining Paramount in 2017, he spent more than 20 years at Disney-ABC, where he most recently served as Executive Vice President of Pay Television & Digital for Disney-ABC Worldwide Home Entertainment and Television Distribution. There, he licensed films and series, including across digital platforms, on behalf of Walt Disney Studios, ABC Studios and Disney Channel.


Pam Kaufman, President, Viacom/Nickelodeon Global Consumer Products will serve as President, Global Consumer Products, ViacomCBS Credit: Viacom

Pam Kaufman has served as the President of Viacom/Nickelodeon Global Consumer Products since May 2018, overseeing the consumer products business across Viacom Media Networks and Paramount Pictures. In this role, Kaufman leads worldwide licensing and merchandising and provides strategic focus on maximizing Viacom’s portfolio of brands and iconic franchise properties. Before her appointment, Kaufman spent more than 20 years at Nickelodeon, most recently as President of Consumer Products and Chief Marketing Officer. Kaufman has received numerous industry awards including Advertising Age’s Entertainment Marketer of the Year, Brandweek’s Grand Marketer of the Year, License Global’s list of Influentials, and Multichannel News’ roster of Wonder Women.


David Lynn, President and CEO of Viacom International Media Networks, will oversee the ViacomCBS's international media networks, including Network 10 in Australia Credit: Viacom

David Lynn has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Viacom International Media Networks since 2017, overseeing all of Viacom’s media networks and related businesses outside the U.S. Previously, he was President of VIMN UK, Northern and Eastern Europe, during which time he helped lead the acquisition of Channel 5 Broadcasting in 2014. He assumed this position after serving as Executive Vice President, Managing Director of the group. Before that, Lynn was responsible for Viacom’s distribution strategy outside the U.S., overseeing deals with key international affiliates and securing distribution for Viacom content on video-on-demand platforms. Lynn joined Viacom in 1999 and has held a range of positions across the company’s brands.

About CBS

CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS.A and CBS) is a mass media company that creates and distributes industry-leading content across a variety of platforms to audiences around the world. The Company has businesses with origins that date back to the dawn of the broadcasting age as well as new ventures that operate on the leading edge of media. CBS owns the most-watched television network in the U.S. and one of the world’s largest libraries of entertainment content, making its brand –"the Eye” – one of the most-recognized in business. The Company’s operations span virtually every field of media and entertainment, including cable, publishing, local TV, film and interactive. CBS’ businesses include CBS Television Network, The CW (a joint venture between CBS Corporation and Warner Bros. Entertainment), Network 10 Australia, CBS Television Studios, CBS Global Distribution Group, CBS Consumer Products, CBS Home Entertainment, CBS Interactive, CBS All Access, the Company’s direct-to-consumer digital streaming subscription service, CBS Sports Network, CBS Films, Showtime Networks, Pop, Smithsonian Networks, Simon & Schuster, CBS Television Stations and CBS Experiences. For more information, go to https://www.cbscorporation.com/.

About Viacom

Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA) creates entertainment experiences that drive conversation and culture around the world. Through television, film, digital media, live events, merchandise and solutions, its brands connect with diverse, young and young at heart audiences in more than 180 countries.

For more information on Viacom and its businesses, visit http://www.Viacom.com. Keep up with Viacom news by following it on Twitter (twitter.com/Viacom), Facebook (facebook.com/Viacom) and LinkedIn (linkedin.com/company/Viacom).

Important Information About the Proposed Merger Between CBS and Viacom and Where To Find It

In connection with the proposed merger between CBS Corporation (“CBS”) and Viacom Inc. (“Viacom”), CBS has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) a Registration Statement on Form S-4 (No. 333‑234238) (the “Registration Statement”) that includes a joint consent solicitation statement of CBS and Viacom and that also constitutes a prospectus of CBS (the “joint consent solicitation statement / prospectus”). The Registration Statement was declared effective by the SEC on October 25, 2019. Viacom and CBS commenced mailing the definitive joint consent solicitation statement / prospectus to Viacom stockholders and CBS stockholders on or about October 28, 2019. This communication is not a substitute for the joint consent solicitation statement / prospectus or Registration Statement or any other document which CBS or Viacom may file with the SEC. INVESTORS AND SECURITY HOLDERS OF CBS AND VIACOM ARE URGED TO READ THE REGISTRATION STATEMENT, WHICH INCLUDES THE JOINT CONSENT SOLICITATION STATEMENT / PROSPECTUS, AND ANY OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS THAT ARE FILED OR WILL BE FILED WITH THE SEC, AS WELL AS ANY AMENDMENTS OR SUPPLEMENTS TO THESE DOCUMENTS, CAREFULLY AND IN THEIR ENTIRETY BECAUSE THEY CONTAIN OR WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROPOSED MERGER AND RELATED MATTERS. Investors and security holders may obtain free copies of the Registration Statement, which includes the joint consent solicitation statement / prospectus, and other documents filed with the SEC by CBS and Viacom through the website maintained by the SEC at www.sec.gov or by contacting the investor relations department of CBS (+1-212-975-4321 or +1-877-227-0787; investorrelations@CBS.com) or Viacom (+1-212-846-6700 or +1-800-516-4399; investor.relations@Viacom.com).

Participants in the Solicitation

CBS and Viacom and their respective directors and executive officers may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of consents in respect of the proposed merger. Information regarding CBS’ directors and executive officers, including a description of their direct interests, by security holdings or otherwise, is contained in CBS’ Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018 and its proxy statement filed on April 12, 2019, both of which are filed with the SEC. Information regarding Viacom’s directors and executive officers, including a description of their direct interests, by security holdings or otherwise, is contained in Viacom’s Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2018 and its proxy statement filed on January 25, 2019, both of which are filed with the SEC. A more complete description and information regarding directors and executive officers are included in the joint consent solicitation statement / prospectus or will be included in other documents filed with the SEC when they become available. These documents (when available) may be obtained free of charge from the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.

No Offer or Solicitation

This communication is for informational purposes only and is not intended to and does not constitute an offer to subscribe for, buy or sell, or the solicitation of an offer to subscribe for, buy or sell, or an invitation to subscribe for, buy or sell any securities or a solicitation of any vote or approval in any jurisdiction, nor shall there be any sale, issuance or transfer of securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, invitation, sale or solicitation would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. No offer of securities shall be made except by means of a prospectus meeting the requirements of Section 10 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and otherwise in accordance with applicable law.

Cautionary Notes on Forward-Looking Statements

This communication contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the federal securities laws, including Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. In this context, forward-looking statements often address expected future business and financial performance and financial condition, and often contain words such as “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “seek,” “see,” “will,” “would,” “may,” “target,” similar expressions and variations or negatives of these words. Forward-looking statements by their nature address matters that are, to different degrees, uncertain, such as statements about the consummation of the proposed merger and the anticipated benefits thereof. These and other forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future results and are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements, including the failure to consummate the proposed merger or to make any filing or take other action required to consummate such transaction in a timely matter or at all. Important risk factors that may cause such a difference include, but are not limited to: (i) the proposed merger may not be completed on anticipated terms and timing, (ii) a condition to closing of the proposed merger may not be satisfied, including obtaining regulatory approvals, (iii) the anticipated tax treatment of the proposed merger may not be obtained, (iv) the potential impact of unforeseen liabilities, future capital expenditures, revenues, costs, expenses, earnings, synergies, economic performance, indebtedness, financial condition and losses on the future prospects, business and management strategies for the management, expansion and growth of the combined business after the consummation of the proposed merger, (v) litigation relating to the proposed merger against CBS, Viacom or their respective directors, (vi) potential adverse reactions or changes to business relationships resulting from the announcement or completion of the proposed merger, (vii) any negative effects of the announcement, pendency or consummation of the proposed merger on the market price of CBS’ or Viacom’s common stock and on CBS’ or Viacom’s operating results, (viii) risks associated with third party contracts containing consent and/or other provisions that may be triggered by the proposed merger, (ix) the risks and costs associated with the integration of, and the ability of CBS and Viacom to integrate, the businesses successfully and to achieve anticipated synergies, (x) the risk that disruptions from the proposed merger will harm CBS’ or Viacom’s business, including current plans and operations, (xi) the ability of CBS or Viacom to retain and hire key personnel and uncertainties arising from leadership changes, (xii) legislative, regulatory and economic developments, (xiii) the other risks described in CBS’ and Viacom’s most recent annual reports on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, and (xiv) management’s response to any of the aforementioned factors.

These risks, as well as other risks associated with the proposed merger, are more fully discussed in the joint consent solicitation statement / prospectus included in the Registration Statement. While the list of factors presented here and the list of factors presented in the Registration Statement are considered representative, no such list should be considered to be a complete statement of all potential risks and uncertainties. Unlisted factors may present significant additional obstacles to the realization of forward-looking statements. Consequences of material differences in results as compared with those anticipated in the forward-looking statements could include, among other things, business disruption, operational problems, financial loss, legal liability to third parties and similar risks, any of which could have a material adverse effect on CBS’ or Viacom’s consolidated financial condition, results of operations, credit rating or liquidity. Neither CBS nor Viacom assumes any obligation to publicly provide revisions or updates to any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise, should circumstances change, except as otherwise required by securities and other applicable laws.

An internal memo from Bob Bakish outlining the additions to the ViacomCBS leadership ranks follows:

"Team,

I’m pleased to share that today we have taken an important step in bringing our companies together with the announcement of leadership appointments across ViacomCBS’ revenue lines. The appointments will take effect once the transaction closes. These talented executives will capitalize on our many strengths – including our must-watch programming, iconic library and franchises, and our global production capacity – to drive important new distribution, content licensing and advertising opportunities for ViacomCBS all over the world.

Please join me in congratulating these talented leaders. Jo Ann Ross, President and Chief Advertising Revenue Officer, CBS, will serve as President and Chief Advertising Revenue Officer, ViacomCBS Domestic Advertising Sales. Ross will direct all of ViacomCBS’ multiplatform media sales efforts, leading an integrated ad sales team that will drive revenue by connecting agency partners and advertisers with the company’s unmatched engagement, reach and innovative solutions.

John Halley, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Ad Solutions, Viacom, will serve as Chief Operating Officer, Advertising Revenue, and Executive Vice President, Advanced Marketing Solutions, reporting to Ross. In this role, Halley will oversee commercial and business operations for the unified advertising team, as well as ViacomCBS’ portfolio of differentiated advanced advertising and marketing solutions across its linear, digital and social footprint.

Ray Hopkins, President of Television Networks Distribution, CBS, will serve as President, U.S. Network Distribution, ViacomCBS, overseeing the combined company’s broadcast network affiliation distribution agreements, as well as domestic distribution of the company’s owned and operated television stations, channels and networks across all platforms. He will also drive ViacomCBS’ live linear content and on-demand digital distribution deals with third-party platforms.

Armando Nuñez, President and CEO, CBS Global Distribution Group, and Chief Content Licensing Officer, CBS, will serve as Chairman, Global Distribution and Chief Content Licensing Officer, ViacomCBS, overseeing all content licensing, including worldwide distribution and domestic syndication, for ViacomCBS-owned programming to third-party platforms.

Dan Cohen, President of Worldwide Home Entertainment & Television Distribution, Paramount, will serve as President, Global Content Licensing, ViacomCBS, reporting to Nuñez.

Pam Kaufman, President, Viacom/Nickelodeon Global Consumer Products, will serve as President, Global Consumer Products, ViacomCBS, and will be responsible for the combined company’s consumer products business, including global oversight of product and business development, licensing, merchandising, retail sales, consumer insights and marketing.

David Lynn, President and CEO of Viacom International Media Networks, will oversee the combined company’s international media networks, including Network 10 in Australia.

As a result of these appointments, however, Sean Moran and Tom Gorke will be transitioning out of their roles once the merger closes. Both Sean and Tom are impassioned advocates for our brands, content and our people, and have played critical roles in the turnaround and transformation of our company over the past few years. Along the way, they’ve been trusted advisors and important members of my senior team, and I want to take this opportunity to thank them both for their many contributions to Viacom.

Over the course of his 24-year career at Viacom – including these last three as Head of Ad Solutions – Sean has applied his experience, expertise and strong network of relationships to create meaningful connections between leading advertisers and our coveted young and diverse audiences. A few years ago, Sean recognized how our clients’ needs were changing in a period of intense disruption, and he had the foresight to quickly reposition our go-to-market strategy and evolve our business to engage marketers across more touch points than ever before.

Our suite of advanced marketing solutions is now the envy of the industry, and Sean’s efforts have been integral in not only making Viacom a true pioneer in advanced advertising – but also in fueling our return to domestic ad sales growth. Tom has had a tremendous 15-year run at Viacom. As the Head of Distribution and Business Development, he has been a tireless champion of our efforts to strengthen and expand our distributor relationships beyond traditional carriage agreements – an approach that has enabled us to renew and extend the vast majority of our subscriber base in three years.

Tom has also played an instrumental role in evolving our distribution strategy beyond our core linear business, super-serving consumers through new and innovative partnerships with next-generation platforms, from vMVPDs and skinny packs to SVOD and mobile services – transforming and growing our affiliate business in the process. Thanks to their leadership and commitment, Viacom is a must-have partner to the top advertisers and distributors around the world.

I’m grateful they will be here through close and wish them all the best in their next endeavors. As we move toward the formal close of our merger in early December and begin the important next steps in becoming one company, keep an eye out for more updates on our progress. In the meantime, if you have any questions about today’s news, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your manager or HR Business Partner.

Thank you, as always, for your hard work and commitment. Best, Bob"

###

Gorke also sent this memo to the staff:

"Team,

As most of you know by now, the time has come for me to leave Viacom.

In the last 14+ years I’ve been here at the company, the media landscape has shifted dramatically and I’ve had the great privilege to have a front row seat for all of it. From my first role here in digital BD, to building a digital distribution business from scratch, to having the tremendous opportunity to lead Distribution and Business Development for Viacom for the last three years, it has been a wild and rewarding ride.

There are many accomplishments I am proud of in that time, ranging from Viacom’s first digital distribution deals with Apple, Netflix, Hulu and others a decade ago, all the way to this year’s renewals with AT&T and the NCTC and the huge South Park deal with HBOMax announced just yesterday.

In addition to the deals, I’m also proud of the progress we made in transforming the business. When Bob selected me for this role in 2016, I told you that we’d be breaking with the past in a big way – fixing the strained relationships with our MVPDs, pushing our digital distribution strategy into the future, and, importantly, developing a culture defined by innovation and creativity. All of you embraced that approach and brought your best every day – and delivered results. We led the industry in expanding our MVPD partnerships into new areas like advanced advertising and co-productions, we launched new products including BET+ and NickHits, and we struck ground-breaking deals with new partners like T-Mobile, Walmart and Philo. I am so proud that we delivered on our ambitious goals and in doing so fundamentally strengthened Viacom’s distribution business in just three short years.

Through all of that, I’ve done my best to be a leader and mentor to all of you, and so in that vein I want to leave you with three final thoughts:

- Look at change as opportunity, not as threat. I tried to do this throughout my time here, both in my career but also in the how we work with our partners – and it served me well. It will serve you well too, particularly given all the change both at Viacom and in our industry.

- Engage in all things with integrity above all else. Whether it’s working within these walls, working with partners, negotiating deals – whatever it might be – keep things in perspective and remember that the most important thing is not what you got done, but how you got it done.

- Embrace the relationships. At the end of the day, the accomplishments – deals, results, etc. – are necessary to succeed, but they pass quickly as you move on to the next quarter or year. The relationships do not. So as you’re trying to beat budget or get the deal done or whatever, soak up the relationships you’re forming and nurture them.

- I want to thank Bob for the opportunity to lead you, and most importantly I want to thank all of you for the blood, sweat and tears you’ve expended on my and Viacom’s behalf. You all are not just my respected colleagues, but you’re also my close friends and my family away from home. It has truly been an honor to be your leader, and I could not be prouder of all of you. Don’t stop now – keep crushing it.

And so, while it is bittersweet to part ways, I’m beyond excited for what comes next (see that? embracing change..), and I look forward to keeping in touch. And in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or to your managers with any questions.

Sincerely,

Tom

#yougotthis"

###

From Variety:

Jo Ann Ross Will Lead Ad Sales at Combined ViacomCBS (EXCLUSIVE)

As one-time TV watchers become streaming-video fanatics, advertisers are grappling with an uncertain future. But they will have a familiar face to guide them on at least part of the journey.

Jo Ann Ross, one of the advertising industry’s best-known executives, will lead ad-sales efforts at ViacomCBS, the company that is expected to rise from the merger of CBS and Viacom sometime in early December. She will serve as President and Chief Advertising Revenue Officer, ViacomCBS Domestic Advertising Sales, and report jointly to Bob Bakish, who will be the CEO of the new company, and Joe Ianniello, who will be chief executive of its CBS operations.

“This is really the first step in building a unified sales team,” Ross said in an interview with Variety on Wednesday. “We will be organized. We will be strategic. And we will be speaking with one voice.”

Ross, who is the first female executive to lead a broadcast-network ad-sales team, has been at the helm of CBS’ outreach to Madison Avenue since 2002, will guide the new company’s efforts to sell advertisers on everything from Stephen Colbert’s “Late Show” to Trevor Noah’s “Daily Show.” She will have to keep pharmaceutical marketers interested in “CBS Evening News” under a new anchor, Norah O’Donnell, and spur toymakers to keep supporting Nickelodeon. CBS secured nearly $6.2 billion in advertising revenue in 2018, the bulk of it generated by efforts by executives working for Ross. Viacom notched approximately $1.15 billion in revenue in its fourth fiscal quarter.

Ross’ ascension signals the importance of having a trusted operator when it comes to maintaining the flow of millions of dollars in advertising, even as blue-chip marketers like Coca-Cola and Procter & Gamble are investing in new ways of reaching consumers through video, and upstart marketers like Wayfair and Casper are moving into TV with greater expectations of generating sales. Her credibility, media buyers say, comes from the value of her word in an era when new entertainment giants like Comcast, AT&T and Walt Disney have placed more emphasis on getting sponsors to buy bigger and bigger packages of inventory.

Some advertisers still prefer a handshake they can rely upon over an algorithm that can place commercials seamlessly across multiple content windows. “There’s a tone of trust there,” said one media-buying executive about Ross’ standing with advertisers and agencies. Many traditional media operators like to compare themselves to their digital rivals, and promise similar capabilities, but Ross “doesn’t pretend she’s the next Facebook,” this buyer says. “I think you’re going to be hard-pressed to find someone to say, ‘I got screwed by a Jo Ann deal.'”

Ross will work with John Halley, COO, Advertising Revenue, and EVP, Advanced Marketing Solutions, at the new company, who will report to her. Sean Moran, a 24-year veteran of Viacom ad-sales, who rose from leading ad-sales efforts at MTV and VH1 to supervising Viacom’s entire efforts in mid-2016, will leave the company.

To be sure, Ross will face obstacles. The new company will have to sell broadcast, cable and digital together, all the while using CBS’ biggest properties to snare the biggest amount of interest and highest prices, and drive new interest in Viacom’s fare, even as younger viewers find other ways to access clips of “South Park” or an MTV favorite. The two sides have not worked in such a way in the past. Even when CBS and Viacom were part of the same corporate entity before being separated in 2006, the two sides largely went to market separately.

A new sales team will have to assign areas of expertise to various members. CBS is largely accustomed to dangling big-audience TV shows like “NCIS” and “60 Minutes” in front of clients, not programming tailored for narrower viewer sets. Meanwhile, Viacom has struggled in years past to maintain the integrity of its linear video advertising in the face of ratings declines. The company this past summer posted its first quarter of positive ad-sales growth after a five-year span.

Even so, the combined CBS and Viacom will control 20% of national TV advertising, according to Standard Media Index, a tracker of ad spending, making Ross the gatekeeper to a sizable chunk of the commercial inventory most desired by Madison Avenue. The merger stands to enhance much of that commercial time. Under Moran, Viacom moved into working more directly with social-media influencers and YouTube, and gained valuable expertise in streaming-video thanks to Viacom’s recent acquisition of video hub Pluto. Media buyers say Viacom has also been a leader in the growing practice of using data to help advertisers place commercials more precisely to reach smaller niches of the most likely customers. Moran “had the foresight to quickly reposition our go-to-market strategy and evolve our business to engage marketers across more touch points than ever before,” said Bakish, in a memo to employees sent Wednesday.

“Incorporating CBS assets into these capabilities makes them more powerful,” Halley told Variety in an interview.

“We are really looking forward to having deeper, more meaningful conversations with clients that we haven’t been able to have before,” says Ross. “We are going to engage customers in every way we can, using all of the advanced marketing capabilities. We can provide some solutions for questions that clients are asking.”

Several media-buying executives said they expect the new company to retool the presentation it makes next year to advertisers as part of the industry’s annual “upfront” advertising market. CBS has long relied on a showy day at New York’s Carnegie Hall to get Madison Avenue excited about buying CBS primetime properties like “Young Sheldon” or the various “NCIS” dramas. But a 2020 event, these buyers suggested, would make use of the Viacom cable networks and other properties. Ross declined to comment on upfront plans, noting that the announcement of her new duties signals just the start of a larger process of examining how to work with advertisers in weeks to come.

Given her long tenure at CBS and in the industry, no one would have been surprised if Ross had decided to step down. But the executive says she is looking forward to the challenges and conversations ahead – and doesn’t want to just put in a year or so in her new role before moving on to something else. “I am here for the long game,” she says.

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From Broadcasting & Cable:

Hopkins Picked For Top ViacomCBS Distribution Post

Viacom’s Gorke to leave the company

Viacom and CBS, nearing the completion of their merger, said that Ray Hopkins will serve as president, U.S. Network Distribution for ViacomCBS.

Hopkins has been responsible for helping to drive CBS’s retransmission consent revenue. When he arrived in 2013, they were about $300 million and next year, they are projected to exceed $2.5 billion. He’s also stepped up the amount of CBS collects from its affiliates who air CBS programming.

Tom Gorke, the top distribution at Viacom, is leaving the company.

Using the retransmission leverage CBS has with programming on CBS and its local stations, including sports led by NFL football, is one of the key drivers for combining CBS with Viacom, which has had to cut the subscriber fees it gets from distributors for its cable networks.

In his new role, Hopkins will be overseeing the combined company’s broadcast network affiliation distribution agreements, as well as domestic distribution of the company’s owned and operated television stations, channels and networks across all platforms. He will also drive ViacomCBS’s live linear content and on-demand digital distribution deals with third-party platforms.

He will report to both ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish and current CBS acting CEO Joe Ianniello, who will be overseeing the company's CBS-branded assets.

Hopkins said the assets of CBS and Viacom were complimentary and will give him a stronger hand in negotiating with distributors than either company had previously. “In this case, one plus one equals three in the end,” he said.

Over time, he expects to sync up CBS’s and Viacom’s distribution deals, which will be coming up over the next couple of years. But for now they’re close enough together for him to talk about both company’s assets in most of his negotiations.

“I think it’s safe to say that when we have conversations with the distributors that we're going to have conversations from day one regarding the entire portfolio,” Hopkins said.

Viacom and CBS combined have about a 20% share of total day viewing and 22% in prime time. “That’s gold because there’s no question this is viewed content. The question becomes where we are going to settle on the value of that content,” Hopkins said.

The two companies now get about a 10% share of distribution revenue. “There’s clearly some upside based on the eyeballs we’re bringing to the distributors’ platform,” he said.

Now there are a few small distributors that don’t carry Viacom’s networks, including some virtual MVPs that carry CBS’s programming. That will be addressed in upcoming talks with those distributors, Hopkins said.

In his first couple of years at CBS, he was able to make key deals that set the market for CBS in terms of retransmission consent and reverse comp with affiliates.

CBS had a negotiation with Time Warner Cable in 2013 that resulted in a month-long blackout. At that point, CBS did a deal with FiOs that set the market for CBS’s retrans and Time Warner Cable fell in line. “It really set the marketplace in motion,” Hopkins said.

The following year, CBS had unproductive negotiations with LIN Broadcasting, which owned the CBS affiliate in Indianapolis. CBS moved the affiliation in that market to Tribune Broadcasting. “It established that CBS intended to realize the value we’re delivering on the affiliate side,” Hopkins said.

More recently, CBS this year won a new deal with AT&T after a long blackout.

Hopkins joined CBS as president of Television Networks Distribution. He had previously been chief operating officer of YES Network. Before that he held posts at Gemstar-TV Guide and Fox.

Gorke had been with Viacom for for 15 years.

In an internal memo, Viacom CEO Bob Bakish said that “as the Head of Distribution and Business Development, he has been a tireless champion of our efforts to strengthen and expand our distributor relationships beyond traditional carriage agreements – an approach that has enabled us to renew and extend the vast majority of our subscriber base in three years.”

“Tom has also played an instrumental role in evolving our distribution strategy beyond our core linear business, super-serving consumers through new and innovative partnerships with next-generation platforms, from vMVPDs and skinny packs to SVOD and mobile services – transforming and growing our affiliate business in the process,” Bakish added.

Viacom and CBS also announced that Jo Ann Ross, will become President and Chief Advertising Revenue Officer, ViacomCBS Domestic Advertising Sales after the merger is complete. Ross had been president and chief advertising revenue officer at CBS.

Sean Moran, who oversaw a turnaround of Viacom’s ad sales after 20 quarter of falling revenue, will be leaving the company.

John Halley, Executive VP and Chief Operating Officer, Ad Solutions, Viacom, will serve as Chief Operating Officer, Advertising Revenue, and Executive Vice President, Advanced Marketing Solutions, reporting to Ross.

Armando Nuñez, president and CEO, CBS Global Distribution Group, and Chief Content Licensing Officer, CBS, will serve as Chairman, Global Distribution and Chief Content Licensing Officer, ViacomCBS, overseeing all content licensing, including worldwide distribution and domestic syndication, for ViacomCBS-owned programming to third-party platforms.

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