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Viacom names international Paramount, BET bosses

Jill Offman

Jill Offman

Jill Offman and Alex Okosi have again risen at Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN).

Comedy Central International head and Comedy Central and MTV UK managing director Offman has been handed oversight of The Paramount Channel, and VIMN Africa executive VP and MD Okosi takes on BET International.

This comes after Michael D. Armstrong, who ran those brands, became general manager of black entertainment-focused BET in the US at the end of June.

Offman and Okosi will report to VIMN president and CEO David Lynn in their new roles.

Offman continues to report to VIMN UK, North and Eastern Europe president and MD James Currell and Okosi to VIMN Southwest Europe, Middle East and Africa president and MD Raffaele Annecchino in respect to their existing cluster-specific roles.

Paramount Channel launched outside the US in 2012, and is now in 115 territories. It is separate to the upcoming Paramount Network in the US, which will soon replace Spike TV and focus on general entertainment and premium programming.

New Paramount Channel chief Offman has beenwith Viacom since 2008, initially overseeing the rebrand of Paramount Comedy to Comedy Central.

The former Discovery Canada factual chief followed that with a series of promotion, culminating in her role as ComedyCentral International chief and head of Comedy Central and MTV in the UK.

Okosi took on his current role earlier this year, having joined US media giant Viacom in 1998 in a marketing role. By 2004, he had joined the MTV International strategy and business development team,where he created the business plan to launch Viacom in Africa.

VIMN Africa now reaches 48 territories and has more networks in the territory than rival international media groups.

“Jill is a creative, strategic leader whose vision continues to drive share and distribution growth for Comedy Central internationally,” said VIMN chief Lynn. “In this new role, she will lead the international development of one of the most iconic entertainment brands in the world.”

“Alex expertly spearheaded the growth and expansion of Viacom in Africa, and has overseen the creation of an incredible variety of content and experiences that spotlight the best of African American and African culture and creativity,” he added.