Former Paramount Players president and AwesomenessTV co-founder will manage networks’ creative and business operations.
NEW YORK -- Viacom Inc. today announced the appointment of Brian Robbins as president of Nickelodeon, effective immediately. Robbins will report directly to Bob Bakish, president and CEO of Viacom. Robbins takes over the post vacated by previous president Cyma Zarghami, who announced her departure in June after three decades at the company.
In his new role, Robbins will manage the creative and business operations at Nickelodeon and will be responsible for evolving the brand for a new generation of young audiences, including further bolstering its content pipeline through a mix of new and legacy franchises, and accelerating its push into next-generation platforms and feature film.
Robbins most recently served as president of Paramount Pictures’ Paramount Players division, where he worked closely with Nickelodeon and Viacom’s other brands to identify talent and properties to be developed into co-branded feature films. In his new role, Robbins will remain integrally involved in the development, production and marketing of all Nickelodeon co-branded films with Paramount Players, including Dora the Explorer, Rugrats and other current projects.
With Robbins’ appointment to Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures is commencing a comprehensive search for a successor to lead Paramount Players. In the interim, Wyck Godfrey, president of Paramount Pictures’ Motion Picture Group, will oversee day-to-day operations at Paramount Players, with support from Robbins during a transition period.
“Brian is a creative powerhouse who has spent his career on the frontlines of our industry, anticipating and driving changes in television, film and digital media,” Bakish said. “With his unmatched credentials in kids’ entertainment and his firsthand knowledge of Nickelodeon, I have asked Brian to drive the innovation and transformation that will ensure the brand remains the dominant force with young audiences.”
Robbins commented, “Nickelodeon is one of the entertainment industry’s most vibrant and groundbreaking brands, with iconic properties, a deep culture of creativity and invention, and an incredibly talented team of kids’ entertainment professionals. I’m thrilled to return to Nickelodeon and draw on its many strengths – including its rich library and rapidly growing studio production business – to deliver must-see content to kids on every platform around the world. During this time of upheaval in big media, I can’t wait to disrupt the disrupters.”
Prior to leading Paramount Players, Robbins co-founded the multi-platform media company AwesomenessTV in 2012 and served as CEO. Robbins also co-founded the production company Tollins/Robbins Productions and was the founder and president of Varsity Pictures. In this role, he executive produced numerous television hits for teens and young audiences, including the popular Nickelodeon series Kenan and Kel and All That, the latter of which Robbins adapted into the Nickelodeon feature film Good Burger. Robbins also executive produced Blue Mountain State for Spike TV (now Paramount Network) and produced and/or directed the Paramount films Varsity Blues, Coach Carter and Hardball. His other credits include the television series Smallville and One Tree Hill for CW, and Disney Channel’s Sonny with a Chance and So Random. His film credits include Disney’s Wild Hogs and The Shaggy Dog; DreamWorks’ Norbit and A Thousand Words; and Sony Pictures’ Radio.
Robbins is the recipient of a Directors Guild Award, a Peabody Award and the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Pioneer Prize. He is also an Emmy Award nominee.