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Paramount poaches Disney exec for TV sales role

Paramount Pictures has hired the long-serving Walt Disney Company exec Dan Cohen.

Dan CohenHe will be president of worldwide television licensing for the Viacom-owned film business.

This will see him leading global licnensing and distribution of all Paramount films, TV series and all other content across platforms. He will also set TV licensing strategy and guide negotiation strategies.

He joins after 20 years at Disney, most recently at Disney-ABC Television Group. There, he was executive VP, pay TV and digital sales for home entertainment and television distribution for The Walt Disney Studios.

Paramount noted Cohen secured “two of the most significant pay television deals in history” – an agreement with Netflix in 2012 and one with Starz back in 1999.

He also helped launch Disney’s SVOD service, and led negotiations with iTunes, Amazon, Google, Walmart’s Vudu and Microsoft for cloud-based movie service Disney Movies Anywhere.

Before Disney, he was VP, programme acquisitions and scheduling for Tele-TV Media, and also worked on coproductions for Showtime.

The news comes soon after Fox Filmed Entertainment chief Jim Gianopulos was named chairman and CEO of Paramount, which is becoming strategically closer to TV with the launch of the Paramount Network in the US.

“I’m thrilled to bring aboard a seasoned executive like Dan, who was the force behind some of the most important pay TV licensing deals in our industry,” said Paramount COO Andrew Gumpert, to whom Cohen will report.

“He has a proven track record of growing the business while discovering the ideal distribution platforms for content. I look forward to working with him to maximise our revenue opportunities for Paramount’s films, series and catalogues.”