Viacom Opens New Marketing Group in L.A.


Viacom Velocity, the integrated marketing division of media giant Viacom Inc., will launch a new West Coast branded content group in Santa Monica dedicated to its movie studio clients.

The Los Angeles team will be led jointly by Chris Lenz, senior vice president of creative and production, and Danielle Della Corna-Kupchak, senior vice president of integrated marketing.

“Moving Chris [Lenz] embeds an incredible creative leader in the studios’ backyard,” said Niels Schuurmans, executive vice president of creative for the group in a press release. “We are proving our deep commitment to our largest clientele and adding even more fire power to a team that’s delivered award-winning, all-screen campaigns.”

The combined group is comprised of 25 writers, producers, editors, designers, account managers, and directors, some of which will now be relocated from Velocity’s New York office along with Lenz. The company declined to provide details on the number of people moving, but did say the office would eventually be moved to a new space in Hollywood later this year.

The team’s work runs across Viacom’s properties, including MTV, Comedy Central, VH1, CMT, Spike, and TV Land. For example, last night’s MTV Movie Awards, which were broadcast from the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank, were hosted by Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson. The actors are stars of the upcoming “Central Intelligence” action film, and their installation as hosts was the work of the Velocity team.

But Viacom has been the subject of scrutiny by investors and analysts for months while its former chairman Sumner Redstone endured a humiliating legal battle over his mental competence.

While a tentative settlement was reached last week, uncertainty surrounds the fate of Redstone’s estate and assets related to the two companies for which he still holds 80 percent voting interest – CBS and Viacom – through his parent company National Amusements. One of the Viacom assets at stake is Paramount Pictures, the iconic movie studio that could be sold off after pressure from analysts to boost its lagging cable television business earlier this year.

It’s unclear whether Viacom Velocity would continue its work on Paramount Pictures projects should a buyer emerge.

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