Tag Archives: ViacomCBS Networks International

ViacomCBS expands diversity policy

ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI) is expanding its ‘No Diversity, No Commission’ policy in the UK to make it a company-wide initiative in more than 180 countries.

David Lynn

ViacomCBS Networks UK revealed a series of measures to strengthen its diversity and inclusion efforts, including the diverse content policy, in July.

In future, all new international productions will have to be made by a diverse team, with the policy applying to VCNI’s business across five continents and more than 180 countries.

VCNI includes brands such as Network 10 in Australia, Channel 5 in the UK, Telefe in Argentina, Viacom 18 in India, ViacomCBS International Studios, Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, BET, Paramount Network and Pluto TV.

The policy will require production companies to adhere to diversity guidelines before budgets are signed off and productions are approved to begin.

When budgets are agreed, the commissioner or project lead will check for appropriate diversity and recommend improvements as needed.

Additionally, the policy will increase representation behind the camera to ensure that a variety of balanced, diverse voices are involved in all areas of production.

“Expanding No Diversity, No Commission to our entire international organisation is an important strategic move for VCNI,” said David Lynn, CEO and president VCNI.

Kerry Taylor

“ViacomCBS Networks International creates and distributes content to audiences all over the world. This approach will ensure that we are both reflecting our audience, as well as elevating new diverse creative voices.

“Change requires thorough research, careful planning, and immense care, and we’re looking forward to creating impactful, sustainable change through the power of our networks, partnerships, platforms and brands.”

VCNI has also committed to a number of initiatives to increase authentic on-screen representation and inclusive storytelling.

The company will identify global, scripted content that elevates underrepresented cultures, across both youth and entertainment and kids and family brands.

In Latin America, 25% of ViacomCBS International Studios’ budget will be allocated to the education and development of projects by BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Colour) creators.

In addition, VCNI’s Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asian division has committed to dedicating 30% of its budget in 2021 to produce stories focused on or related to underrepresented groups and issues.

“Audiences around the world, particularly younger generations and kids, are becoming more and more diverse in composition, outlook and perspectives, and it’s our responsibility to ensure that our content reflects the world in which our audiences live,” said Jules Borkent, executive VP at VCNI Kids & Family.

“Our research tells us very clearly that kids want to see themselves reflected on-screen. By launching No Diversity, No Commission across our international brands, we are able to ensure that the shows and characters we create continue to reflect kids today and tomorrow.”

“Diversity, inclusion and equity need to be at the heart of everything we do within our brands and our business,” added Kerry Taylor, executive VP at VCNI Youth & Entertainment.

“We are committed to doing better, to making progress in this area and using our platforms to shine a light on the talent, voices and stories that need to be seen and heard. No diversity, No Commission is an important step on our journey.”

The international launch of this policy and the company’s upcoming initiatives follow ViacomCBS’s Global Inclusion Week, which included more than 100 virtual sessions featuring diversity, equity and inclusion experts, talent, thought leaders, creators and executives focused on promoting diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging.

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ViacomCBS ups Monde Twala to BET role

ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI) has promoted Monde Twala from his current role with ViacomCBS Networks Africa to peer lead at BET International.

Monde Twala

Twala will work with Kerry Taylor, executive VP of VCNI’s entertainment and youth brands, and the larger international division to guide editorial direction and identify opportunities to strengthen and grow the BET brand outside the US.

Twala is currently senior VP of ViacomCBS Networks Africa, editorial and general manager. During his tenure he has played a key role in the creation of ViacomCBS Africa’s major music events, including the Africa Day Benefit Concert at Home, the first virtual benefit event to support children and families in Africa impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, and the MTV Africa Music Awards.

Additionally, Twala has worked alongside local production teams to create a range of programming including MTV Newsish, BET Breaks, scripted biopics and reality formats.

“As head of BET’s largest international market, Monde has an incredible track record of driving development and growth for all of our ViacomCBS brands across the African continent,” said Taylor.

“He is a passionate champion of the brand and I have no doubt that he will drive it forward in a strong, impactful way while ensuring BET International elevates black culture globally.”

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ViacomCBS rejigs senior team in Africa

ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI) has rejigged its executive leadership team in Africa ahead of veteran exec Alex Okosi’s move to YouTube EMEA.

Craig Paterson

Craig Paterson, senior VP, business operations for VCN Africa, and Monde Twala, VP of VCN Africa’s BET and of youth and music at VCNI and Africa, have been elevated to lead VCN Africa as co-general managers.

They will take up the positions on March 1 after Okosi leaves his role as executive VP and MD of VCN Africa and BET International at the end of February to join YouTube as MD of the Google-owned platform’s EMEA emerging markets.

As senior VP and general manager at VCN Africa, Paterson will be responsible for all corporate functions, including business development and strategy.

He spent nearly five years at Viacom, beginning in 2011 as VP of operations and finance in Africa and returned to the company in 2018 as senior VP of business operations in Africa.

Monde Twala

As senior VP and general manager, editorial at VCN Africa, Twala will focus on content, creative, editorial and marketing for VCNI brands.

Twala joined the company in 2016 after nearly 20 years’ experience in the South African broadcasting and media industry.

“Since launching MTV Base in 2005, Alex has spearheaded the development of our business on the continent, which now delivers more channels to Africa than any other international network, reaching 100 million viewers in 48 territories across MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and BET,” said Raffaele Annecchino, president of ViacomCBS Networks EMEA and Asia.

“Craig and Monde are experts in their respective areas and in addition to incredible business acumen, have demonstrated leadership and collaborative excellence throughout each of their careers and tenures with the company,” added Annecchino.

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