CBS is shaking up its distribution operations, recruiting former Twentieth Television sales chief Paul Franklin to oversee domestic syndication for CBS Television Distribution.
With Franklin’s hire, CBS veteran Armando Nunez will return his focus to international distribution as president of CBS Studios International. Nunez had overseen domestic and international distribution as president of CBS Global Distribution Group for the past four years, since previous domestic topper John Nogawski exited the Eye in 2012.
Franklin was among the hundreds of Fox executives who recently took a voluntary employee buyout. Franklin spent 28 years at Fox, rising to exec VP and general sales manager for its Twentieth TV syndication arm and MyNetwork TV service.
Franklin will oversee all operations for CTD, reporting to Moonves. The division is home to “Judge Judy,” “Wheel of Fortune,” “Jeopardy” and other top-rated first-run syndicated series. However, the unit’s output of new programming has been thin in the past few seasons.
“He’s highly respected as a relationship builder, dealmaker and strategist, with a track record for leading some of the most successful syndication sales campaigns of the past decade and for helping build a brand-new programming service and distribution system from the ground up,” Moonves said. “Paul knows the syndication world inside out and will be a tremendous asset in supporting our programming and serving this valuable client base.”
With international sales growing in significance to CBS’ bottom line, the Eye had been looking to return its distribution arm to separate units for domestic and international. CBS pounced when it became clear that Franklin was available.
More restructuring and exec shuffling at the domestic division is expected in the coming weeks as Franklin settles in. Moonves made a point of praising Nunez’s run as global distribution boss, despite his lack of prior experience in domestic syndication.
“Armando Nuñez is one of the most highly regarded executives in our company,” said Moonves. “Four years ago, we asked him to add domestic syndication to his plate and he has provided tremendous leadership, stability and success to this valuable division. Now we’re calling on him to dedicate 100% of his efforts to our expanding international business, where, thanks to his leadership, our revenue and new business opportunities continue to grow dramatically. We look forward to Armando and his outstanding global team taking us to even greater heights in this important area.”