Former Fox Films CEO Gianopulos tapped to run Viacom's Paramount Pictures

Viacom_CREDIT_André-Pierre du Plessis-Flickr
The Paramount Network plans to use Spike's programming and use other Viacom original scripted and non-scripted programming, and incorporate more original and third-party programming. Image: André-Pierre du Plessis/Flickr
Jim Gianopulos
Jim Gianopulos

Viacom has officially named Jim Gianopulos as chairman and chief executive officer of Paramount Pictures.

Gianopulos will step into the role effective April 3, coming on board after former Paramount CEO Brad Grey left the company in February after 12 years at the helm. The move will see Gianopulos returning to Paramount after serving 16 years as the CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment, watching over 20th Century Fox, Fox 2000 Pictures, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox International Productions and 20th Century Fox Animation/Blue Sky Studios. 

Gianopulos will be overseeing Paramount’s film and television operations worldwide and is expected to set a new strategy for Paramount, including developing new content, strengthening Paramount’s slate with co-branded releases from Viacom flagship brands, and expanding the studio’s global footprint, according to a news release.

RELATED: Paramount getting $1B investment from Chinese firms

“Looking ahead, I see a strong opportunity to position the studio for success by creating valuable franchise opportunities, developing fresh creative ventures, and mining Viacom’s deep brand portfolio to bring exciting new narratives to life. I am eager to get to work with Bob and the rest of the Viacom and Paramount teams to ensure Paramount continues to deliver rich, powerful films and television programming for all audiences,” said Gianopulos in a statement.

The new leadership move at Paramount is the latest in a series of executive shuffles and strategy realignments for Viacom under Bakish. In February, Viacom revealed that it would put its “full power” behind six flagship brands: BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr. and Paramount.

“These six brands each have compelling, valuable and distinct brand propositions. They serve diverse, substantial audiences with largely-owned content, have global reach and distribution potential across linear, digital, film, and consumer products, events and experiences,” the company said in a statement. “Viacom's other brands—some of which hold strong positions in their categories and maintain diverse and loyal followings—will be realigned to reinforce the six flagship brands.”

Part of the new strategy will involve Spike’s rebranding as The Paramount Network, which will take place in early 2018.

The Paramount Network plans to use Spike's programming and use other Viacom original scripted and non-scripted programming, and incorporate more original and third-party programming.

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