Kaplan Adds Nickelodeon Talent Role to Viacom Duties

Paula Kaplan will add the oversight of talent for Nickelodeon to her current duties as executive VP, talent and development at Viacom Digital Studios.

Kaplan’s new title is a mouthful: executive VP, talent and development, Viacom Digital Studios; and talent, Nickelodeon. She will report to both Brian Robbins, president of Nickelodeon, and Kelly Day, president of Viacom Digital Studios.

“Paula is a creative leader who intuitively understands how to identify and cultivate breakthrough talent from, and for, all platforms," said Robbins. "Her strong relationships with the creative community and experience across all areas of the business and all platforms will greatly contribute to the strength and influence of the Nick brand and its stars.” 

A Viacom veteran, Kaplan returned to the company in April 2018 after spending less than three years as chief talent officer and head of live content for Awesomeness. Viacom turned around and acquired Awesomeness in July 2018

She was with Nickelodeon before that, from 1993 to 2014 in a variety of roles involving talent, original programming and live events.

In her new role, she will oversee Nickelodeon’s Talent Division, leading all talent relations across television, music programming and events and overseeing casting for live-action and animation properties. She is replacing Shelly Sumpter Gillyard who was executive VP talent, music and events.

“Paula knows exactly how to build talent, and to engage young audiences on every platform," said Day. "This evolution of her role at the company is a testament to the great work she has been doing at Viacom Digital Studios, and will position us well for the future by bringing the work of our talent teams closer together.”

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.