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Viacom’s Armstrong to oversee int’l sales

Viacom International Media Networks has handed oversight on international programme and affiliate sales to BET and Spike’s non-US chief, Michael D. Armstrong.

Michael D. ArmstrongHe will remain in command of the development of the BET, Spike and Paramount Channels internationally in his new post as executive VP and general manager, revenue and emerging brands for Viacom’s international arm.

Armstrong (pictured), who was upped to EVP and GM of international brand management in December 2014, is also taking on VIMN’s ad sales, Viacom Velocity International.

The rejig will see senior VP of commercial and content distribution Arran Tindall becoming international affiliate sales lead, and along with SVP of international programme and format sales Caroline Beaton will now report into Armstrong.

The promotion comes soon after Viacom UK & Ireland chief David Lynn succeeded Bob Bakish as VIMN CEO, after the latter was named as chief exec and president of the wider Viacom business.

“Michael is an innovator and strategic thinker who has spearheaded the growth and expansion of Viacom internationally across multiple lines of business and brands,” said Lynn.

“In his new role, Michael will now oversee two more key areas of our business, managing a strong team of leaders who will continue to drive the day-to-day activities under his overall strategic guidance.”

Armstrong joined Viacom in 1998, rising through the ranks before joining VIMN as SVP and GM of BET International and Paramount Channel, which he created and launched internationally in 2012. He also co-launched BET Play, Viacom’s first direct-to-consumer SVOD service, and in 2015 oversaw the debut of Spike outside in the US, in the UK. It has since launched in the Benelux region, the Middle East, Australia and Hungary.

In the US, Spike will soon be replace by a new channel, Paramount Network, though whether this will be replicated in other territories is currently unknown.