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As Paramount Global refocuses its operations on a global mindset and local execution, it’s unveiling a new name and mission for its studios operations across markets that will now concentrate on high-end scripted content that can drive growth at Paramount+.
Led by Maria Kyriacou, president, broadcast & studios, international markets at Paramount Global, the company’s studios business outside the U.S. will now be known as Paramount Television International Studios (PTIS). That name replaces the ViacomCBS International Studio (VIS) brand that the company had kept following the 2019 merger of Viacom and CBS. The operation is set to have a closer relationship and alignment with the wider Paramount Studios organization.
“Our goal is to deliver on the strategic priorities of our business and accelerate growth for Paramount+, creating premium scripted content that reflects the cultures and experiences of our diverse international audiences,” said Kyriacou in an internal memo. “Working in close partnership with the Paramount+ team, our content strategy is clear – we are looking for shows that drive acquisitions and engagement for Paramount+.”
And Kyriacou added: “Our shows already drive strong local performance and with the closer global partnership we will gain from this new organizational structure, I am confident these shows will travel more consistently across the territories and drive the success of Paramount+.”
Paramount has been refocusing its international production work on higher-end scripted shows. As part of that, it has, for example, shut down its unscripted arm in the U.K., which produced the likes of Catfish U.K.
As part of Paramount’s global content group, led by George Cheeks, president and CEO of CBS and chief content officer of news and sports for Paramount+, “we will operate as one aligned business, adopting the best practice and discipline from our U.S. counterparts, paired with the ability to support local adaptations of global franchises,” Kyriacou highlighted. “And, as part of Pam (Kaufman)’s international markets organization, we will work in lock step with the Paramount+ team to ensure we support the growth of the service in markets worldwide.”
Kaufman told staff internally that the new setup fits in with a key industry trend. “In the past, TV shows and movies were typically American cultural exports, but today, successful content comes from every corner of the world,” she highlighted. “We have a vast production footprint with roughly 20 creative hubs from Argentina and Australia to Israel, Italy, the U.K. Germany, and more.”
Programming developed and produced there can travel around the globe, but also add to the value proposition for consumers in those markets themselves. “The evidence is clear: audiences want great local content,” Kyriacou emphasized in that context.
The PTIS pipeline of original international series already includes the likes of Spider and Uno Para Morir from Latin America, The Gold, Sexy Beast and A Gentleman in Moscow from the U.K., The Chemistry of Death from Germany, as well as Miss Fallaci from Italy. Building on that, the division has a growing focus on France and more markets worldwide, management highlighted.
Content deals with third parties will also continue as Paramount Global Content Distribution will be licensing PTIS programming outside of markets where Paramount+ is available. “Because we are about to get into the L.A. Screenings, it is really key to confirm that the Paramount distribution team represents the rights on all the shows we are making outside of those Paramount+ territories,” Kyriacou told The Hollywood Reporter. “And that does give us quite a lot of access to the party.”
The unveiling of the new PTIS name and mission also came with personnel news. Sarah Rose has expanded her responsibilities, now serving as chief operating & commercial officer (COCO) for international studios and U.K. broadcast. As vp, finance & operations, Cibele Salomao will lead the finance side of PTIS, reporting to Suki Gill, CFO of Paramount’s International TV Media Networks unit.
Reporting to Sarah Rose, and working closely with Kate Laffey, Antony Smith becomes vp, production overseeing production across the firm’s studio business in the U.K. and Europe. Reporting to Kyriacou, Laffey’s duties have expanded to include leadership of European studio content as vp, head of content for PTIS U.K. & Europe. She will work closely with the creative leads across key European markets and beyond.
In Latin America, Dario Turovelzky’s role as senior vp, broadcast & studios, original Spanish and Portuguese content includes expanded oversight of the Latin American studio, as well as Paramount’s broadcast businesses across the region. In Israel, Paramount’s acquired Ananey studio and broadcast business will continue to be operated as an independent entity within PTIS, with CEO and executive vp of Paramount Israel, Orly Atlas-Katz reporting directly to Kyriacou.
“I’m also delighted that as part of our closer relationship with George Cheeks’ CBS group, we will benefit from the business affairs leadership of John Phillips, executive vp, business affairs for CBS Studios,” Kyriacou wrote in her memo.
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