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Pluto TV boss promoted to head of streaming at ViacomCBS

ViacomCBS executive and Pluto TV co-founder Tom Ryan. (Photo: Handout, Graphic: The Desk)
ViacomCBS executive and Pluto TV co-founder Tom Ryan. (Photo: Handout, Graphic: The Desk)

ViacomCBS has tapped the co-founder and chief executive of its free streaming service Pluto TV to oversee streaming initiatives across the entire company.

Under his new role as president and chief executive of ViacomCBS Streaming, Tom Ryan will be the key executive in charge of seeing the transformation of premium streaming service CBS All Access into a new blockbuster offering called Paramount Plus. His role will also include continued oversight of Pluto TV, a ViacomCBS spokesperson said.

In 2014, Ryan helped form Pluto TV by aggregating content from YouTube and other free video platforms into linear streaming channels that resembled a traditional pay TV service. The ad-supported service was acquired by Viacom early last year for $340 million and was folded into the new ViacomCBS company.

Ryan stayed on at Pluto TV after its acquisition by Viacom, helping to transform the service into a powerhouse among free, ad-supported streaming offerings. In the nearly two years since Pluto TV was acquired, the service has beefed up its content offerings to include shows and movies from within ViacomCBS and has launched international variants in a handful of countries.

ViacomCBS is hoping Ryan will replicate that success when CBS All Access transitions into Paramount Plus sometime next year. The service, which is expected to be offered in the United States and internationally, will combine content from CBS, Showtime, MTV Networks and a handful of third parties into a single premium offering. (Showtime will continue to exist as a separate over-the-top streaming service.)

“I couldn’t be more excited to work with this talented team and build on their momentum, especially as we approach the launch of Paramount Plus,” Ryan said in a statement distributed to reporters on Tuesday. “Together, we will leverage ViacomCBS’s beloved portfolio of brands, strong content pipeline and extensive network of partners to deliver must-watch on-demand, live and exclusive original programming to viewers everywhere.”

In addition to the promotion, ViacomCBS has included an additional streaming role for Kelly Day, the company’s chief operating officer of international networks. Day will now serve under Ryan as the president of streaming.

The reorganization will see Marc DeBovice, the chief digital officer of ViacomCBS, depart the company at a later date.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).