ViacomCBS, which is looking ahead to a make or break push into the direct-to-consumer business, named Pluto TV head Tom Ryan as president and CEO of ViacomCBS Streaming.
Kelly Day, now COO, ViacomCBS Networks International, was named to the additional role of president of Streaming, ViacomCBS Networks International. Pierluigi Gazzolo will step down from his position as president, streaming and studios at VCNI to pursue other interests, the company said.
Marc DeBevoise, who had been chief digital officer for ViacomCBS and CEO of ViacomCBS Digital, will be leaving the company as it rebrands CBS All Access into Paramount Plus, described as the company’s “super” streaming service.
Before being merged with Viacom, CBS was an early entrant into the streaming business with CBS All Access and Showtime OTT. But those services remained rather small in the battle against Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. More recently The Walt Disney Co., with Disney Plus, Comcast’s NBCUniversal with Peacock and even AT&T with HBO Max have made big plays in the streaming space and ViacomCBS now needs to catch up.
Ryan will be overseeing the transformation of CBS All Access into Paramount Plus, a subscription service, under the new structure. He will also continue to lead Pluto TV as a free, add supported service.
“ViacomCBS has a unique opportunity to combine the best of our brands in a seamless ecosystem of must-watch, direct-to-consumer services for audiences around the world,” said ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish. “As we plan for the launch of Paramount Plus, bringing together the leaders of our streaming platforms to create a unified global organization will enable us to execute a holistic strategy across both free and pay. We will draw on the breadth and depth of ViacomCBS’s franchises and branded IP to deliver an extraordinary collection of diverse content with the convenience consumers want.”
Ryan co-founded Pluto TV in early 2014. The company was acquired last year by Viacom.
“I couldn’t be more excited to work with this talented team and build on their momentum, especially as we approach the launch of Paramount Plus,” said Ryan. “Together, we will leverage ViacomCBS’s beloved portfolio of brands, strong content pipeline and extensive network of partners to deliver must-watch on-demand, live and exclusive original programming to viewers everywhere.”
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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.