ViacomCBS is once again changing up leadership to emphasize its focus on streaming and ensure the success of its streaming services, particularly its late-to-the-party content giant Paramount Plus. The announcement comes just a day after The Wall Street Journal reported NBCUniversal had approached ViacomCBS about joining streaming forces.
ViacomCBS announced Wednesday title changes and additional oversight for several of its executives currently overseeing various ViacomCBS content properties, particularly for its recently launched Paramount Plus streaming service. Leadership reorganizations focused on streaming have become standard for major parent companies of recently launched services like Disney Plus and HBO Max — and ViacomCBS has previously seen internal shifts meant to prop up Paramount Plus.
In a statement, ViacomCBS boss Bob Bakish said Paramount Plus’ first few months “have demonstrated the power and potential of our platform, as well as audiences’ appetite for a broad and diverse array of content, all in one place.”
Tanya Giles, who serves as the general manager of MTV Entertainment Group, has been promoted to chief programming officer of streaming at the company and will specifically focus on content for Paramount Plus and Pluto TV. ViacomCBS reported reaching 36 million global paid subscriptions back in May. But that figure is towered over by services like Disney Plus and Netflix, which have zoomed past the 100 million- and 200 million-subscription mark, respectively. Giles’ new role, while one of several announced this week, is among the more significant changes in the company’s leadership.
Paramount Plus’ first few months “have demonstrated the power and potential of our platform”
CBS president and CEO George Cheeks now additionally holds the title of chief content officer of news and sports at Paramount Plus. Chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures, Jim Gianopulos, is now also chief content officer of movies at Paramount Plus. Bruce Gillmer, who is president of music, music talent, programming, and events will oversee music at the service, while MTV Entertainment Group president Chris McCarthy now also holds the title of chief content officer of unscripted entertainment and adult animation.
Chairman and CEO of Showtime Networks, David Nevins, now additionally holds the role of chief content officers of scripted originals at Paramount Plus. An Emmy-winning producer, Nevins was attached to award-winning productions that include Arrested Development, Law & Order: SVU, and Friday Night Lights, and his promotion as a key figure within the Paramount Plus C-suite seems smart on the part of ViacomCBS.
Meanwhile, Nicole Clemens, president of Paramount Television Studios, will also oversee Paramount Plus’ original scripted series. Lastly, Brian Robbins, president of kids and family entertainment, will now also hold the title of chief content officer of kids and family programming at Paramount Plus.
The restructure comes at an interesting time for the company. Paramount Plus, which launched in March, is one of the now seemingly innumerable streaming services all competing for subscribers. It’s unclear whether ViacomCBS’s long-game strategy is an eventual merger along the lines of the recent deal between WarnerMedia and Discovery, but reports from The Wall Street Journal and The Information indicated NBCUniversal had approached ViacomCBS about teaming up. According to the Journal, ViacomCBS declined that offer.
By the looks of it, ViacomCBS is instead amassing a leadership team to help its scrappy service compete in the streaming wars in earnest.