Jim Gianopulos Confirmed as Paramount Chairman and CEO for Merged ViacomCBS

Jim Gianopulos arrives at Paramount Pictures' Premiere Of "Gemini Man" - Getty-H 2019
Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic

He will oversee filmed entertainment for the remerged content giant.

Viacom and CBS Corp. on Monday confirmed some top content executives for when they complete their recombination as ViacomCBS, which is expected to happen in early December, including Jim Gianopulos as the executive overseeing the firm's filmed entertainment operations and continuing as chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures.

Viacom and CBS highlighted that his role includes oversight of Paramount Animation, Paramount Features, Paramount Players and Paramount TV.

The company also confirmed top TV executive appointments that had leaked over the weekend and reiterated that Marc DeBevoise will be chief digital officer of ViacomCBS.

Kelly Day, president, Viacom Digital Studios, will continue to lead the digital content strategy and initiative to create and expand original programming and branded content across leading and emerging social platforms, reporting to DeBevoise, the companies said. "She will look to expand this initiative from brands including MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and BET across the combined company’s content portfolio."

The firms also announced that Phil Wiser, chief technology officer at CBS, will serve as chief technology officer for the combined company, reporting to DeBevoise. And Tom Ryan, CEO and co-founder of Pluto TV, will continue to lead Pluto TV.

"ViacomCBS will have a portfolio of powerful consumer brands and one of the largest libraries of iconic intellectual property, spanning every genre and appealing to consumers of all ages and demographics," the companies said. "The combined company’s library will comprise 140,000+ premium TV episodes and 3,600+ film titles, including fan favorites such as Star Trek and Mission: Impossible. ViacomCBS will also have more than 750 series ordered or in production, as well as a major Hollywood film studio, Paramount Pictures. The combined company will have a content spend of more than $13 billion — one of the largest in the industry."

Said Bob Bakish, president and CEO of Viacom who will be president and CEO of ViacomCBS: “ViacomCBS will be one of the largest premium content creators in the world, with the capacity to produce content for both our own platforms and for others. This talented team of content leaders will work together to ensure we realize the full power of our brands, our deep relationships with the creative community and our intellectual property to drive our growth as a combined company.”

As THR reported previously, the CBS-Viacom remarriage wasn't expected to have a dramatic impact on Gianopulos' film studio, since CBS is firmly in the television business and Gianopulos' contract was expanded before the deal announcement. So Monday's news mostly confirmed his future role.

The widely respected Gianopulos, who previously served a long stint as chairman of 20th Century Fox, arrived at Paramount in 2017. He was tasked with the difficult job of turning around the ailing film studio, whose fortunes had faded. Gianopulos has strong talent relationships from his years at Fox, including with James Cameron and Ang Lee.

Bakish in an internal memo wrote: "While we had planned to share these updates with you tomorrow, given the news leaked we wanted to get to you as quickly as we could. We continue to make progress in bringing together Viacom and CBS, and today we’re announcing senior appointments for ViacomCBS’ content and digital leadership. These appointments will take effect once the merger closes in early December, when we’ll begin the next steps in combining our two companies. Together, these leaders will help us deliver on our distinct position as one of the most important content producers and providers in the world."