Viacom forms domestic acquisitions division

US media giant Viacom has formed a new programme acquisitions unit to coordinate its domestic buying strategy.

David Bernath and Barbara Zaneri will lead Viacom’s Program Acquisitions Group, which will acquire programming for domestic US channels such as BET, Centric, MTV, VH1, CMT, Comedy Central, Spike TV, TV Land, Nickelodeon and Nick at Nite.

Bernath is currently Comedy Central’s executive VP, programming and multiplatform strategy; while Zaneri most recently served as EVP, programme strategy, acquisitions and scheduling for BET Networks and now becomes Viacom’s EVP, programme acquisitions.

Programming acquisitions executives at Viacom’s domestic networks will continue to lead their individual networks under the pair.

Bernath will continue reporting into Comedy Central president Michele Ganeless and will now report into Viacom Media Networks COO Rich Eigendorff in his programme acquisitions group role.

Zaneri reports directly into Eigendorff, who said: “Synchronising our program buying activities across the Viacom portfolio will afford us the opportunity to further integrate our businesses and forge innovative partnerships. With Barbara and Dave’s creative approaches to seeking and securing off-net rights, we will continue to strengthen our robust mix of original programming with acquisitions and maximise value for our brands and our audiences.”