New appointments at Viacom international channels

Michael Armstrong

Michael Armstrong

Viacom has upped several of senior channel execs at its international channels, appointing a new boss for the BET, Paramount and Spike channels, and creating a new head of acquisitions position for all of its UK channels.

Michael Armstrong will continue to lead the international BET and Paramount channel efforts and oversee the launch of Spike, as executive VP and general manager, international brand development.

In the newly-created role he will oversee launch strategies and branding for the nets in international markets as well as for any other Viacom channels that are launched internationally.

Armstrong has been senior VP and general manager of BET International since May 2006, overseeing the strategy, launch, programming, marketing, advertising and operations of BET in the UK and Africa. Since 2011 he has also had Paramount’s international service in his remit.

BET and Spike already have a presence in the international market. Male-skewing Spike will have its first international roll out next year when it launches on the free-to-air DTT Freeview platform in the UK, replacing VIMN’s existing Viva service.

In the UK, VIMN has upped Katie Keenan to head of acquisitions for Channel 5 and VIMN UK, giving her lead responsibility for acquiring programming for all its TV channels in the UK. She previously oversaw buying for Channel 5, the free-to-air UK channel Viacom acquired earlier this year.

VIMN said Keenan, who this year bought Gotham for Channel 5, will become Viacom’s main UK liaison with the US studios and other distributor, working across the Channel 5 services and VIMN UK channels, which include Comedy Central and MTV.

She will report to Channel 5 director of programming Ben Frow and Comedy Central boss Jill Offman.

Viacom has also confirmed Vanessa Brookman and Craig Morris as the respective programming leads for the 5* and the upcoming Spike UK.

Also in the UK, Comedy Central has recruited Joe McVey as head of development, reporting to Lourdes Diaz, vice president, head of global production and development. Before joining VIMN he was a freelance producer.

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