ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI) has named Jarrod Villani as chief operating and commercial officer for the Australian and New Zealand market. This appointment will see Villani serve as co-lead for combined operations in the region alongside CCO and EVP Beverley McGarvey.
Beginning in early 2021, Villani will be responsible for the combined company’s commercial activities and operations in both markets. He joins the team from investment firm KordaMentha, where he specialized in organizational transformation and sustainable growth.
McGarvey, meanwhile, was promoted to her new role in March and is responsible for all content and creative activities related to the company’s networks and digital properties in the region. She has led the merging of the two markets, which included the integration of the Network 10 and ViacomCBS Australia and New Zealand businesses.
Both Villani and McGarvey report to Maria Kyriacou, president of VCNI’s operations in Australia, Israel and the UK.
The pair will work to grow the company’s existing linear and subscription assets across broadcast and digital platforms next year, in addition to launching the Paramount+ SVOD service in the region. In addition to Australia, the streaming service will roll out in Latin America and the Nordics in 2021.
The exec shuffle comes as the local Australian market grapples with pandemic-induced changes. Just last month, the Aussie government announced a simplified content quota system, which removed kids programming requirements for local broadcasters (making permanent a change that was first introduced in April).
Previously, broadcasters needed to air 260 hours of kids content and at least 130 hours of preschool programming each year. More than half of that content needed to be Australian in origin. The new system allows broadcasters to fill those hours with documentary and drama programming, and will come into effect on January 1, 2021.