Viacom names new UK, northern and eastern Europe chief

James Currell

James Currell

Viacom has named James Currell as EVP and managing director for the UK, northern Europe and eastern Europe, following David Lynn’s appointment as president and CEO of Viacom Media Networks International (VIMN).

Channel 5 chief operating officer Paul Dunthorne has meanwhile been promoted to take on Currell’s old job of COO at VIMN for northern and eastern Europe.

Currell, who played a leading role in planning and executing Viacom’s acquisition of Channel 5 Broadcasting in September 2014, will report to Lynn and will be responsible for management oversight of all of Viacom’s media networks and related businesses in 33 European countries, including the UK.

Currell has served as chief operating officer for VIMN for northern and eastern Europe since 2012, with responsible for brands Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon. He has overseen a variety of centralised functions within VIMN’s operations managed out of the UK, including strategy, production, business and legal affairs, finance, corporate communications, human resources and research.

Lynn said: “James has been integral to the stellar growth of our operations managed out of the UK, both before and after our acquisition of Channel 5. He’s relentlessly strategic and inquisitive and has a fine understanding of the different needs of all our brands; I couldn’t be happier to have an executive of his calibre to promote from within and I look forward to working with him and Paul to continue developing the exciting momentum we’ve built in our business.”

Currell said: “Viacom has transformed its UK presence and grown its footprint across Europe by increasing investment in quality local content and adopting an innovative approach to partnership and to the way our brands work together. I’m excited by the growth opportunities that exist in mature and emerging European markets, given Viacom’s scale and the enduring influence of our brands on TV and, increasingly, online.”