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Viacom Creates Unified Program Acquisitions Unit

Bernath. Zaneri to lead group that aims to streamline acquisition of programs for U.S cablers

Viacom has created a single group to coordinate acquisition of domestic programming across its U.S. media networks, including BET, Centric, MTV, VH1, CMT, Comedy Central, Spike TV, TV Land, Nickelodeon and Nick at Nite.

The new Program Acquisitions Group will unify the planning and analysis, inventory management, acquisition process and buying activity for all domestic program acquisitions. The group will be jointly led by David Bernath, exec veep, programming and multiplatform strategy for Comedy Central, and Barbara Zaneri, who will assume the newly created role of exec veep of program acquisitions. Executives at each of the individual networks will continue to lead the selection of acquisitions for their respective channels.

In her new role, Zaneri will lead negotiations for all domestic program acquisitions within Viacom Media Networks, working closely with executives at each of the company’s networks. She will also be responsible for all domestic multi-channel program acquisitions. Zaneri will report directly to Rich Eigendorff, chief operating officer of Viacom Media Networks.  Bernath will be responsible for coordinating all of Viacom’s domestic program acquisitions activity.  He will continue to report to Michele Ganeless, president of Comedy Central, and will report to  Eigendorff in his Program Acquisitions Group role.

“Synchronizing our program buying activities across the Viacom portfolio will afford us the opportunity to further integrate our businesses and forge innovative partnerships,” said Eigendorff, in a prepared statement. “With Barbara and Dave’s creative approaches to seeking and securing off-net rights, we will continue to strengthen our robust mix of original programming with acquisitions and maximize value for our brands and our audiences.”

Most recently, Zaneri served as exec veep of program strategy, acquisitions and scheduling for BET Networks, overseeing the long-term planning and short-term scheduling of both BET and Centric, which has played a strategic role in delivering record-breaking results.

Bernath oversees the strategy and programming of Comedy Central content across linear TV, comedycentral.com, VOD, SVOD, mobile and new emerging platforms.

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