Viacom International Media Network’s vice president and general manager of Nickelodeon has been given responsibility for all of Viacom’s brands in Australia and New Zealand as the region’s new senior vice president and general manager.
Ben Richardson, who has managed Nickelodeon since 2011, replaces Katrina Southon, who is leaving the company after 17 years and three years in the top job.
Richardson will be responsible for the strategic direction and overall management of the Viacom brands including MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central and report directly to David Lynn, managing director and executive vice president of Viacom for the UK, Australia and Eastern Europe.
The move comes two months after the group moved its media sales from Ignite Media Brands to rivals Multi Channel Network, a move which takes effect from July and cast questions over the future of Ignite’s sales arm.
Richardson first joined the company in 2005 and has worked in various content roles in India, Indonesia, Japan and Korea where he was the VP and GM for Viacom Korea before he moved to Nickelodeon.
Lynn said: “Ben has led Nickelodeon and MTV businesses all over the world, and his success over the past three years in Australia and New Zealand makes him an ideal choice to assume leadership of the entire portfolio. He has been an ambassador of our brands for close to a decade, and I’m confident that he’ll take our business to new heights across Australia and New Zealand.”
Southon had worked for Viacom in London, Singapore and Sydney, and guided the launch of 30 TV channels and 12 websites around the world.
Lynn said: “Katrina’s contributions to our business in Australia, New Zealand and further abroad have been plentiful, significant and trail-blazing. She’s widely admired as an effective leader and she’s been instrumental in both taking our businesses to new heights and guiding us through unprecedented change. We wish her all the best in her new endeavours.”
Southon said in a statement she is proud of her accomplishments and that her work in 2013 had prepared the business for the future.
Richardson said: “The evolving media landscape presents new opportunities for MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central every day, and I’m looking forward to collaborating with new and existing partners in this broader role.”