Viacom Promotes Christa D'Alimonte to General Counsel

Viacom Signage - H 2016
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Viacom Signage - H 2016

Viacom has promoted Christa D'Alimonte to the role of general counsel, the company said Friday.

She was named executive vp general counsel and secretary, effective April 15. In this role, she will oversee the company's global legal function. She will succeed company veteran Michael Fricklas, who, as previously announced, will be leaving the company.

Said Viacom CEO Bob Bakish: "Christa has been a crucial member of Viacom's premier legal team for many years and throughout many significant milestones in our history. As we look to the exciting months ahead, Christa's extensive legal knowledge and distinctive understanding of our company and strategic vision uniquely positions her to support Viacom as we embark on this period of transformation and growth."

D'Alimonte said: "I am honored to have been selected to lead Viacom's tremendously talented legal team, especially at such an important time in the company's evolution. As the media landscape changes, the role of the law department has never been more critical. I look forward to working closely with leaders across the business to advance Viacom's creative agenda and position the company for the future."

She has been serving as senior vp deputy general counsel and assistant secretary at Viacom. She joined the company in 2012 from Shearman & Sterling, where she was deputy practice group leader of the firm's global mergers and acquisitions group. 

In addition, Viacom said that Keyes Hill-Edgar has been named executive vp global business affairs and general counsel of Viacom Media Networks. He will continue to oversee business and legal affairs for the domestic media networks, and his responsibilities will be broadened to include Viacom International Media Networks, content distribution and the media networks' labor, guild and production legal matters.

D'Alimonte replaces Fricklas, who the company announced in February would move on after nearly a quarter-century at the entertainment giant. That news came in an internal memo a day after Viacom unveiled a new strategic focus under the leadership of Bakish.

Fricklas helped guide the company that owns Paramount Pictures, MTV, Comedy Central and other businesses through rough times, including a dispute between the family of Sumner Redstone and ex-CEO Philippe Dauman over corporate control. 

Fricklas also made waves in the broader industry. For example, he was the architect of an extended copyright fight with Google's YouTube, which helped clarify liability and safe harbors for internet service providers.

Viacom looked both internally and externally for a replacement.