Viacom Inc. has appointed Robert Bakish to the newly created position of president and CEO of Viacom International Media Networks. Bakish, who was previously president of MTV Networks International, has expanded his duties to oversee Viacom's Media Networks properties that operate outside the U.S., including MTV Networks International, as well as BET Networks' international channels and non-premium Paramount branded networks.
Based in New York, Bakish, who has worked in a variety of roles at Viacom since joining the company in 1997, will report directly to Viacom President and CEO Philippe Dauman.
"The development of our international business is a major priority and Bob is the ideal choice to lead the global charge for Viacom's media networks," said Dauman in a statement. "Over his 14 years at the company, he has proven himself to be an outstanding strategist and a highly capable operational manager. Bob has served in several leadership roles in our company, including his most recent role as President of MTV Networks International, where he and his team revitalized our creative output and improved our financial performance. His wealth of experience across geographic regions and his understanding of the complexities of global markets will serve us well as we seek out new opportunities for expansion."
Viacom International Media Networks includes 145 television channels in 160 countries and territories, as well as a variety of digital properties and consumer products businesses. Its entertainment brands MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, VH1, VIVA, TMF (The Music Factory) and Game One reach nearly 650 million households.
Dauman also stressed that the appointment and the newly created position signals Viacom's intent to expand its international footprint for all its properties and that the company intends "to further extend Paramount-themed television channels, taking advantage of Paramount Pictures' brand awareness and the popularity of the motion pictures in its vast library."
Bakish will also continue to serve as chairman of Viacom 18, the company's joint venture in India, and as a member of the boards of Viacom's joint ventures with BSkyB and Telecom Italia Media.