Viacom has announced the appointment of David Lynn – currently President of Viacom International Media Networks’ operations in the UK, Northern and Eastern Europe – as President and CEO of Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN).
As CEO of VIMN, he will have management oversight of all of Viacom’s media networks and related businesses outside the US Lynn will report to Bob Bakish, whom he replaces as CEO of VIMN following Bakish’s promotion to become President and CEO of Viacom Inc. in December 2017.
Lynn will be based in London but will also work regularly out of VIMN’s offices in New York.
“Viacom’s international business has grown strongly over the last decade and our operations managed out of the UK, under David’s leadership, have been integral to that growth,” stated Bakish. “David has an outstanding track record at the helm of our UK business, including leading our successful acquisition and integration of Channel 5, and I have great confidence in his ability to conceive and deliver an even more ambitious growth strategy for VIMN in the years ahead.”
“This is an exciting time to be taking the reins, with VIMN having a vital role to play in Bob’s plans for accelerating Viacom’s growth and maximising its potential,” commented Lynn. “Viacom has must-see content, unrivalled global reach across TV and some of the world’s most digitally active and socially influential entertainment brands; I believe we have very strong foundations and a clear blueprint for future international growth and I look forward to working with Bob and the rest of the team at VIMN to deliver it.”
Since its formation in 2011, VIMN has grown profitability and continues to expand Viacom’s global footprint across TV and digital, with its 200 plus branded TV channels now reaching a cumulative 3.9 billion subscribers across more than 180 countries and broadcasting in more than 40 languages. Successfully transitioning from TV to multiplatform distribution, VIMN has significantly grown online engagement through the launch of cutting edge digital properties including the Viacom Play Plex mobile streaming apps that give on-demand access to the best TV content from its brands, and built its branded presence on 3rd party video-on-demand platforms. VIMN has also helped Viacom build a strong presence for its brands across social platforms with an estimated 850 million fans and followers worldwide.
Lynn was promoted to President for Viacom International Media Networks in the UK, Northern and Eastern Europe in 2014, having been EVP, Managing Director since March 2007. In the time he has been running the business, Viacom’s UK operations have substantially increased investment in local content and grown their share of UK TV viewing more than three-fold.
Lynn has management responsibility for the largest of Viacom’s geographic divisions outside the US and played the leading role in the acquisition of Channel 5 Broadcasting in 2014. Under his management, Channel 5 has performed strongly, delivering its highest ever operating profit in its latest financial year (to September 30th, 2016) and growing its portfolio share amongst 16 to 34-year-old viewers by 9 per cent. Thanks to an equally strong performance by Viacom’s UK pay-TV channels – including Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon – Viacom accounted for one in every six hours of UK commercial TV watched in 2016 by this key demographic.
In addition to having oversight of Viacom’s operations in the UK and Ireland, Lynn is responsible for its businesses in more than 30 countries across Scandinavia, Central and Eastern Europe, including Russia and Israel, comprising 60 TV channels and numerous digital properties.
Lynn is also responsible for VIMN’s international distribution strategy outside the US. In this role, he has oversight of deals with VIMN’s key international affiliates and securing distribution for Viacom content on a variety of online video-on-demand and TV Everywhere platforms and services.
Previously, he was SVP, Managing Director, for Nickelodeon UK, where he strengthened its position in one of the UK’s most competitive viewing demographics, launching Nick Jr. and kick-starting its digital strategy.
Lynn is a member of Viacom’s Global Inclusion Advisory Committee and has championed the company’s diversity strategy in the UK with Channel 5 re-joining the Creative Diversity Network and becoming a funding partner of its Diamond diversity monitoring project.