9:00am PT by Kate Stanhope
TV Land Promotes Frank Tanki to General Manager
Viacom is promoting from within.
TV Land has named company veteran Frank Tanki as the network's general manager, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
In his new role, Tanki will oversee strategy and day-to-day operations for the channel – creative, communications, scheduling, media planning and marketing – and will continue to report to TV Land, CMT and soon-to-be Paramount Network president Kevin Kay. He will also partner closely with Keith Cox, president of development and production, to steer TV Land’s content strategy and slate.
"During his 12-year tenure at Viacom, Frank has proven to be a forward-thinking, passionate and creative marketer who has played a pivotal role in the success and growth of both Nickelodeon and more recently, Spike," Kay said. "He is a dynamic and strategic leader and is the right person to lead TV Land as the network continues its evolution."
Tanki most recently served as exec vp, brand marketing and creative at Spike TV, where he led all consumer marking and creative development for the brand, including consumer and trade advertising, digital and social marketing, talent strategies and partnership marketing, among other duties.
Tanki was a major player in the launch of arguably Spike's biggest hit, Lip Sync Battle, in addition to helping with other network franchises including Ink Master and Bar Rescue. He also helped launched Spike U.K. and other Spike-branded channels around the world.
Before Spike, Tanki served as senior vp, strategic property planning and marketing at Nickelodeon, where he played an integral role in marketing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer.
A longtime Viacom veteran, he began his career at Nickelodeon before a brief run at Cartoon Network and Adult Swim as director of promotions marketing.
At TV Land, Tanki fills a void not filled since Larry Jones, who went onto become president of the channel before leaving in 2015 as the brand shifted away from older-skewing multicams like Hot in Cleveland and The Exes to edgier single-cam fare like Darren Star's Younger. In addition to its recently launched late-night entry Throwing Shade, TV Land is getting ready to premiere the Melissa McCarthy-produced comedy Nobodies and recently picked up the Heathers anthology to series.
Viacom's cable properties are in the midst of a major overhaul. Spike TV is set to become the Paramount Network, and VH1 announced Wednesday that it will air the upcoming season of RuPaul's Drag Race after an eight-year run on sister network Logo. As part of the restructuring, TV Land and CMT have been moved under Kay's Global Entertainment Group after having previously been under the Viacom Kids and Family umbrella.
Tanki's promotion provides more support for Cox, who was recently tapped to head development for the forthcoming Paramount Network on top of his duties for TV Land. Cox will assume duties previously held by Sharon Levy, who exited the Viacom network in February.
As part of that shift, Viacom has also pledged to focus more on what the company has deemed as its six core brands (MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Comedy Central, BET and Paramount).
Read Kay's memo about Tanki's promotion below:
I'd like to share some exciting news about our long-time colleague Frank Tanki.
It is my pleasure to announce Frank has been promoted to General Manager, TV Land.
Over the last three years in his role of EVP of Brand Marketing and Creative at Spike, Frank has been a driving force in the network's successful audience expansion to general entertainment with effective, imaginative, and strategic marketing plans.
Leading the network's re-brand efforts, he oversaw the incredibly successful launch of Spike's biggest worldwide multiplatform hit properties, most notably, "Lip Sync Battle." His targeted and strategic campaign for Bellator has helped propel the global franchise into 140 countries and become the biggest MMA rival ever to that 'other' organization.
Frank also played an important role in the launch of Spike UK (and our other international channels) by joining forces with Viacom International to share key insights and best-practices that have helped solidify Spike as a vibrant and successful brand domestically.
Frank came to Spike after almost a decade at Nickelodeon where he spearheaded the marketing efforts for the network's most high profile initiatives including “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and “Dora the Explorer.”
Above everything else, Frank is a great leader who brings incredible passion and positive energy and a great sense of humor to work every day. He is forward-thinking and an expert brand builder. I am confident he will bring that fearless passion, smarts and spirit to TV Land. We are lucky to have him.
Frank will be starting his new position next week, reporting to me, and will lead the strategy and day-to-day operations for the network overseeing all marketing, creative, communications, scheduling, and media planning for TV Land, working closely with Keith Cox and his team to steer the network’s original content strategy and slate.
Please join me in congratulating Frank on his promotion.