7 OCT 2020

VIACOMCBS LAUNCHES VIACOMCBS INTERNATIONAL STUDIOS DISTRIBUTION

This new area will encompass all of the studio's sales businesses, including co-productions, presales, formats, can sales and co-development. The new division will guarantee content distribution rights across all platforms and promote a centralized leadership structure.

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Lauren Marriott and Laura Burrell

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ViacomCBS International Studios (VIS), a division of ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI), announced a new unified structure, ViacomCBS International Studios Distribution, which will encompass all studio sales business including co-productions, presale, formats, tape sales and co-developments. Under the unified structure, the company’s former IPS (International Program Sales) division, which previously focused on tape and format sales for network-branded content outside Latin America, including the Nickelodeon library and MTV formats, is now combined with VIS’ sales division, which previously focused on VIS original content revenues only.

To lead ViacomCBS International Studios Distribution, Lauren Marriott has been appointed Senior Vice President of Sales & Business Operations and Distribution Lead for the UK; and Laura Burrell will serve as Vice President, International Formats, both effective immediately. Marriott will dually report to Pierluigi Gazzolo, President of Studios and Streaming at VCNI, and Arran Tindall, Chief Commercial Officer and Executive Vice President, Commercial & Content Distribution at VCNI. Burrell will report to Kate Laffey, Vice President of VIS. 

Marriott and Burrell will collaborate closely with Laffey to grow VIS’ global footprint. The new division will play an integral part in supporting ViacomCBS’s larger studio and media networks businesses. The streamlined sales division will ensure access to broad content distribution rights across all platforms and will promote a centralized leadership structure to ensure timely, efficient processes that better serve clients worldwide. Distribution leads within each cluster will lead Content Sales Specialists, who will also focus on co-pros and pre-sales.

Marriott has been with ViacomCBS since 2008, and in her new role will drive a central strategy to expand VIS’ sales and distribution by collaborating closely with ViacomCBS Media Networks in the United States and VCNI’s international brands, including Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central and BET. In addition to oversight of tape sales for ViacomCBS’s legacy branded networks business, Marriott will manage all tape sales internationally for VIS original products in partnership with the clusters. As well as managing stakeholder relationships across the company’s international studios and brands, Marriott will oversee central business operations, including legal, operations, finance, marketing, and global content licensing revenues. 

Burrell, who joined ViacomCBS in 2009, will oversee the continued growth of VCNI and VIS’ format libraries. She will focus on increasing revenue from third party format sales, co-productions and pre-sales, in addition to supporting VCNI’s local channel format adaptations. She will also oversee an increased portfolio that now includes all scripted and non-scripted titles, including those from Telefe, Awesomeness TV and Ananey; and she will be responsible for multi-territory and strategic third party format deals, while overseeing sales in all territories worldwide. She will lead on the development of global rollout strategies for new formats to ensure success and visibility of all properties. In her new role, Burrell will be the key point person for all format-related business for VCNI and VIS.

“As we continue to expand our studio’s global footprint, our new content sales division will allow us to unlock efficiencies and simplify client touchpoints, enabling us to take full advantage of the unprecedented demand for quality content worldwide. ViacomCBS International Studios is critical to ViacomCBS’ overall content ecosystem, and I am confident that Lauren and Laura are ideally suited to lead our now streamlined content sales division,”  Pierluigi Gazzolo said.

Meanwhile, Lauren Marriott commented: “As a one-stop-shop for all for all content, our sales division will support crucial priorities across our studio and media networks business. I look forward to this new chapter and helping support VIS’s growth and diversification as we continue to become a key competitor in the global content business”.

Lastly, Laura Burrell declared: “In today’s media landscape, there has never been a more important time for ViacomCBS to have a truly global content library. I’m excited to take on this new role and support VIS in delivering hit global formats for every platform worldwide”

Our new content sales division will allow us to unlock efficiencies and simplify client touchpoints, enabling us to take full advantage of the unprecedented demand for quality content worldwide” Pierluigi Gazzolo President of Studios and Streaming at VCNI