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Paramount finds CEO in Fox veteran

A Fox film veteran has been named CEO and chairman of Paramount Pictures, whose TV arm is behind Berlin Station and School of Rock.

Jim GianopulosJim Gianopulos succeeds Brad Grey in the role at the Viacom-owned film and TV studio following a two-month search.

This puts him in charge of Paramount’s ailing film slate, television operations, worldwide marketing and distribution, and other facets of the business.

Gianopulos is best known for spending 16 years as CEO and chairman of Fox Filmed Entertainment, a key division of 21st Century Fox, and has spent more than three decades in US entertainment overall.

Viacom president and CEO Bob Bakish has tasked Gianopulos with setting a new strategy for the studio, which has been struggling with its recent movie releases, developing new content and co-branded releases with Viacom’s flagship brands such as MTV and Nickelodeon.

This is consistent with the five-point plan Bakish outlined earlier this year to turn around the fortunes of Viacom, which had seen its share price sink under former CEO and chairman Philippe Dauman as he clashed with company owner National Amusements.

“Jim is a remarkably talented executive with all the tools – strategic vision, strong business expertise, deep industry and creative relationships – to bring films to life that resonate throughout culture and deliver commercial results,” said Bakish, who became CEO in November 2016.

“I’m thrilled we will have the benefit of his experience, savvy and global expertise as we lay out a clear path forward and begin the next chapter in Paramount’s storied history.”

Gianopulos called Paramount “one of Hollywood’s truly iconic studios”.

“Looking ahead, I see a strong opportunity to position the studio for success by creating valuable franchise opportunities, developing fresh creative ventures, and mining Viacom’s deep brand portfolio to bring exciting new narratives to life,” he added.

“I am eager to get to work with Bob and the rest of the Viacom and Paramount teams to ensure Paramount continues to deliver rich, powerful films and television programming for all audiences.”

Before Gianopulos ran the Fox film business, a unit comprising Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures and Fox International Productions among others, he was president of 20th Century Fox International.

He had also held senior positions at Paramount and Sony-owned Columbia Pictures.

Paramount TV, meanwhile, produces Epix’s Berlin Station, Nickelodeon’s School of Rock, Amazon’s Jack Ryan and Galaxy Quest, Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why and Maniac, USA Network’s Shooter, TNT’s The Alienist, and Hulu’s The Warriors.