Viacom is on the hunt for a new chief for Paramount with CEO Bob Bakish implying at a Deutsche Bank conference this week that a decision "should come together in the very near future."
After meeting with a range of Hollywood veterans the front-runner is Jim Gianopulos, formerly CEO of 20th Century Fox. Former Sony Pictures President of Production Mike De Luca, who now has a production deal at Universal, has also been discussed as potentially joining Gianopulos, but it's unclear if he would take the role. Viacom had no comment.
The expected appointment of Gianopulos comes on the heels of Bakish laying out a new strategy to turn around Viacom, which hinges on breaking out of the fact that operations have been run "as a set of silos," as Bakish said at this week's investor conference. Now Bakish, who took on the role in November, aims to integrate content across its TV networks, such as MTV and Nickelodeon, and its studio, Paramount. The idea is that if a star is created at Comedy Central, such as Amy Schumer or Jordan Peele, Paramount, not one of its rivals, should be the one to profit from that star's success when they move on to film.