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As action films boost revenue, Viacom adds new VIMN Americas boss

As blockbuster hits Transformers Age of Extinction and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and affiliate fees from its media networks helped drive a 9% bump in fourth quarter revenue, Viacom is upping Pierluigi Gazzolo to president of its VIMN Americas division.
November 14, 2014

With two summer box-office hits (Transformers: Age of Extinction, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and a strong performance from its media networks contributing to a 9% rise in fourth-quarter revenue, Viacom is naming veteran exec Pierluigi Gazzolo as president of the Americas division of Viacom International Media Networks.

Moving from New York to Miami, Gazzolo—who’s acted as interim MD for the division since July—will oversee the expansion of VIMN’s portfolio of TV channels, including yesterday’s launch of the Paramount Channel in the region, as well as increased investment in original local productions for its branded networks (including MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central). He’ll also retain his role as Nickelodeon brand lead for all markets outside the US.

Since January 2011, Gazzolo has served as VIMN’s chief operating officer. A search for his replacement is now underway.

Viacom’s media networks including Nickelodeon, meanwhile, performed well in Q4. Revenue rose 8% to US$2.66 billion, largely attributed to growth in affiliate fees.

Their performance helped buoy a drop in domestic advertising revenue, which declined 5%. Overall, worldwide ad sales fell by 2% and the domestic decline was partially offset by a 33% increase in international ad revenue. According to Viacom, global ad sales benefited from the company’s September acquisition of UK-based Channel 5.

The quarter’s heavyweight champion was filmed entertainment, which saw revenue grow by 12% to US$1.36 billion, thanks to an increase in theatrical revenues. Strong results from current releases and the carryover performance of the Transformers sequel drove revenue up 226% to US$557 million.

2014 is shaping up to be a banner year for Viacom. According to the company, it’s already seeing positive results from the Channel 5 acquisition, with the opportunity for significant long-term growth for its international business. Paramount delivered the top movie of 2014 and the largest-ever theatrical release in China—Transformers: Age of Extinction—and the studio launched another long-term franchise with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

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