Ben Richardson has been promoted to Senior Vice President and General Manager of Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) Australia and New Zealand, it was announced today by David Lynn, Managing Director and Executive Vice President of VIMN UK, Australia & Eastern Europe.
As Senior Vice President and Managing Director of VIMN Australia and New Zealand, Mr. Richardson will be responsible for the strategic direction and overall management of VIMN’s Australian and New Zealand business which includes linear and digital operations for all MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central-branded businesses, as well as commercial partnerships, programme sales, consumer products and other ancillary businesses. Mr. Richardson will be based at Viacom International Media Networks’ headquarters in East Sydney and will report directly to David Lynn.
“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,” said David Lynn. “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.”
“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,” said Ben Richardson.
Appointed Vice President and General Manager of Nickelodeon Australia in July 2011, Mr. Richardson is credited with spearheading the popular and award-winning “Slimefest,” Australia’s only kid and family friendly music festival. He also led brand initiatives including the development of Nick Jr’s “Play Along with Sam” and “Didi & B,” Nickelodeon’s partnerships with Tennis Australia and SeaWorld, as well as collaborating with other children’s broadcasters on an unprecedented preschool marketing campaign for Foxtel, VIMN’s joint-venture partner in Nickelodeon Australia.
Previously Mr. Richardson was the Vice President and General Manager for VIMN Korea, a role he assumed after success in a variety of content and creative roles in India, Indonesia, Japan and Korea. Mr. Richardson first joined VIMN in 2005 as Content and Creative Director for Nickelodeon India after serving as Executive Producer for Channel [V] from 1995 to 2005.
Mr. Richardson assumes leadership of VIMN’s Australia and New Zealand business from Katrina Southon, who has decided to leave the company after seventeen years. Ms. Southon was appointed to Senior Vice President and Managing Director in February 2011 after six years of leading Nickelodeon Australia to multiple creative and commercial milestones, including being twice named ASTRA Channel of the Year.
Ms. Southon has worked for the company in London, Singapore and Sydney, having guided the launch of 30 channels and twelve websites around the world. A champion of creative excellence, Southon is credited with the commissioning of local productions and initiatives such as “Camp Orange” and the Australian “Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards,” pro-social campaigns including “Let’s Just Play” and MTV’s “Movement,” the Australian launches of MTV Music and MTV Dance on Foxtel, and more. Ms Southon will remain with the company until Mr Richardson fully transitions into the role.
“Katrina’s contributions to our business in Australia, New Zealand and further abroad have been plentiful, significant and trail-blazing,” said David Lynn. “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.”
Katrina Southon added, “My time at Viacom International Media Networks been incredibly rewarding, and I’m very proud of my accomplishments. 2013 was a year of transformation that prepared the business for the future, and I wish Ben all the best as he takes on this new challenge.”
About Viacom International Media Networks
Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN), a unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), is comprised of many of the world’s most popular multimedia entertainment brands, including MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET, Paramount Channel, VH1, VIVA, COLORS, Game One and Tr3s: MTV, Música y Más. Viacom brands are seen globally in more than 600 million households in 170 territories and 37 languages via more than 200 locally programmed and operated TV channels and more than 550 digital media and mobile TV properties. For more information about Viacom and its businesses, visit www.viacom.com