Greenberg to run Viacom premium net venture

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New Orleans — Former Showtime exec Mark Greenberg on Monday officially was appointed president and CEO of the new premium TV channel and VOD service being launched by Viacom and its Paramount Pictures unit, Lionsgate and MGM.

Viacom president and CEO Philippe Dauman said Greenberg "was our first and only choice" for the job.

The unnamed channel has yet to begin landing carriage deals with cable and satellite providers. Greenberg, who called heading up the new venture a "huge opportunity," said discussions are under way with "everyone" but declined to elaborate.

As for the channel's programming slate, Greenberg said that original series, particularly scripted, will be a centerpiece.

"(Paramount chairman) Brad (Grey's) résumé is remarkable, having been executive producer of 'The Sopranos,' " he said. "MGM has a lot of franchises we're looking at that would be great, and Lionsgate very effectively is a supplier of TV content. We're in discussions with all three of them to look at original series as well as live events."

At Showtime, Greenberg oversaw the network's boxing coverage. But while he would "love it to be part of the mix, we're not committed to boxing" at the new service, he said.

One thing he is committed to is having a name for the new channel in a few weeks, after testing is completed on a couple of monikers under consideration. (partialdiff)
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