Viacom Promotes Channel 5 Content Boss to U.K. Director of Programs

Viacom U.K. Director of Programs Ben Frow - P 2019
Courtesy of Viacom International Media Networks

Ben Frow will add Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon and Paramount Network to his remit, with the company saying the new setup will free up "more extra funding for original commissions."

Viacom’s Viacom International Media Networks said Thursday it has promoted Ben Frow, content boss at its British broadcaster Channel 5, to director of programs for its U.K. operations.

He will immediately add Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon and Paramount Network to his existing remit as director of programs for Channel 5. Frow's expanded brief involves "being ultimately responsible for all content for the company’s TV networks and associated streaming services in the U.K," Viacom said.

He will report in due course to the incoming president of VIMN’s operations in the U.K., Northern and Eastern Europe, Maria Kyriacou. Viacom said the more efficient deployment of its resources this new structure makes possible will "release extra funding for original commissions for each one of the brands in its portfolio."

The promotion comes less than a week before Viacom and CBS Corp. are set to close their merger. Management has said the combined company will look for efficiencies to free up money for further investments in content and growth initiatives.

"With control of Viacom’s entire UK content budget, Frow will be tasked with better aligning editorial strategy between the brands to increase content sharing opportunities across the portfolio, as well as with maximizing commercial impacts across its owned and operated streaming platforms, such as My5, in addition to its linear TV networks and third-party VOD platforms,” the company said. ”He will also focus on developing formats that can be scaled across Viacom’s branded networks internationally.”

Said David Lynn, president and CEO of VIMN: "Ben is a creative tour-de-force who has transformed Channel 5’s reputation and helped it to outperform its competitors while becoming sustainably profitable for the first time. There really is no one better qualified to take the creative helm of our U.K. brand portfolio at what is a transformational time for our business. I’m very confident this cross-brand, cross-platform editorial structure, under Ben’s direction, will set us up optimally for further success in the U.K.’s intensely competitive and fast evolving media market."

Added Frow: "I love a challenge, and the chance to work across a bigger portfolio is irresistible. This new role gives me, and the teams, the opportunity to be even more creative, even more imaginative, even more ambitious across some of the biggest brands in television."