TV Land’s Cox lands key role at Paramount Net

TV Land development chief Keith Cox is reportedly set to add the upcoming Paramount Network to his responsibilities, with Sharon Levy exiting at the same time.

Keith CoxUS media sits say Cox will become president of development and production at Paramount Network, as the Viacom-owned American cable channel settles into its new skin and the former Spike TV banner is dropped.

Spike chief Levy is set to exit voluntarily following eleven years with Viacom, according to Deadline, which broke the news.

Viacom CEO Bob Bakish established the Paramount Network as one of six core channel brands – the others being BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. – as part of his company turnaround plan.

Paramount Network, which is expected launch in 2018 at the expense of male-skewed Spike, sits within the Viacom Global Entertainment Group, which Bakish established while interim CEO and president last year.

Previous CEO and executive chairman Philippe Dauman has planned to sell a significant minority stake in the Paramount Pictures movie studio, but Bakish has no such ideas and wants to make use of Paramount brand on as an original drama and comedy cable channel.

Cox took on programming at TV Land following the exit of the long-serving Larry Jones, overseeing a push into scripted programming.

Spike president Kevin Kay was recently handed control of TV Land and CMT, and Cox will report into him.

Another key tentpole of Bakish’s turnaround strategy is to closely align Viacom’s US domestic and international business segments.

Viacom had not responded to requests for confirmation of today’s news at press time, but an official announcement is thought to be forthcoming.