David Nevins set to oversee content for Paramount Plus

ViacomCBS top executive David Nevins is in talks for an expanded role that will include overseeing content for Paramount Plus, sources reveal Variety.

The longtime CEO and president of Showtime, who also serves as CBS’s chief creative officer, will maintain his portfolio that currently includes Showtime Network and BET Network, said individuals with knowledge of the talks. A ViacomCBS spokesperson declined to comment.

Nevins’ promotion will clarify the management picture at Paramount Plus and the scope of Nevins’ role within ViacomCBS. The question of who will drive programming decisions for streamers has been a questionable one since CBS All Access was transitioned to Paramount Plus on March 4. Nevins previously had a hand in programming decisions for CBS All Access through his chief creative officer role.

But ViacomCBS shook off its digital executive ranks before the launch of Paramount Plus. Mark DeBevois, who was part of the team that created CBS All Access, was sacked as chief digital officer of ViacomCBS last October. This paved the way for Tom Ryan, the head of ViacomCBS’s Pluto TV AVOD platform, to be named president and CEO of ViacomCBS Streaming, which now houses all of the company’s streamers.

More changes became apparent last month when Julie McNamara stepped down as Paramount Plus’ executive VP and head of Origins. Nevins’ new role is expected to coincide with the promotion of Nicole Clemens, head of Paramount Television Studios, to oversee originals for Paramount Plus in addition to running productions.

Nevins is expected to retain his current portfolio of networks but relinquish the role of CBS’s chief creative officer. The situation has been somewhat unclear since NBCUniversal alum George Cheeks was named chairman of CBS Entertainment Group in January 2020 following the merger of Viacom and CBS Corp. Nevins will continue to report to ViacomCBS President and CEO Bob Bakish.

Ryan mentioned McNamara’s departure in his memo, teasing a new executive structure coming to Paramount Plus. Sources said more executive appointments are expected in the coming weeks, in addition to Nevins’ promotion.

Nevins joined ViacomCBS in 2010 as entertainment president of Showtime and became CEO in 2015. He took over the duties of CBS’s chief creative officer in the fall of 2018 after ousting longtime CBS Corp. leader Leslie Moonves.

Cynthia Littleton contributed to this report.

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