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Pierluigi Gazzolo to lead VIMN’s OTT and Studio businesses

By Robert Briel

Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) appointed Pierluigi Gazzolo, currently president of VIMN Americas and EVP of Nickelodeon International, as president of OTT International and Viacom International Studios (VIS).

Gazzolo will report to David Lynn, President & CEO of VIMN.

In this role, Gazzolo will initially focus on accelerating the rollout of Pluto TV across international markets, starting with a major launch across Latin America in early 2020. In addition, Gazzolo will further establish VIMN’s premium D2C products in partnership with distributors.

He will also be responsible for creating an integrated Viacom International Studios operation, managing original content creation assets across ViacomCBS internationally. This new structure will enable the company to accelerate the creation of original content across international markets, consistent with the ViacomCBS mission of becoming one of the world’s pre-eminent content companies.

Gazzolo will be responsible for establishing Viacom’s international business strategies, product offerings and operations for these critical growth areas of the business in all international markets. He will work closely with Marc DeBevoise, Chief Digital Officer for ViacomCBS and President and Chief Executive Officer of CBS Interactive and Tom Ryan, CEO and Co-Founder of Pluto TV to expand the company’s digital strategy to the international market.

David Lynn commented: “Pier is a uniquely dynamic executive and has an unrivalled track record of growing revenues for the entire VIMN ecosystem. Pier’s vision and leadership in acquiring and integrating both Telefe and Porta dos Fundos for the Americas business was a step-change for Viacom in the region and enabled the creation of a studio business, not just for the Americas, but for all of Viacom International. Additionally, Pier’s leadership in the streaming and OTT space has driven subscriber growth and established VIMN as a key player in OTT in the region partnering with MVPD’s and mobile operators. I’m confident that Pier will apply the same vision and rigor to launching these key business lines for ViacomCBS internationally as we continue to super serve our distribution partners.”

Pierluigi Gazzolo added: “With ViacomCBS’ position as one the world’s most important content creators and distributors, it’s an extraordinary moment to help drive the expansion of both Pluto TV and OTT internationally, which is the fastest growing part of the video business; and at the same time, create a unified international studio for Viacom – when the demand for content has never been greater.”

G.M. Sues Fiat Chrysler, Accusing It of Manipulating Union Talks

By Neal E. Boudette

The suit claims Fiat Chrysler sought to undermine contract negotiations with the autoworkers union to hurt G.M.

GM sues Fiat Chrysler over alleged union bribes

US carmaker says rival obtained unfair advantages by bribing UAW officials

  • November 20th 2019 at 19:53

GM sues Fiat Chrysler over alleged union bribes

US carmaker says rival obtained unfair advantages by bribing UAW officials

  • November 20th 2019 at 19:53

U.S. Starts Granting, Denying Some Huawei Supply Licenses

U.S. Starts Granting, Denying Some Huawei Supply Licenses(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. The U.S. Commerce Department has started approving some suppliers’ applications for licenses to do business with China’s Huawei Technologies Co., partially reopening access to one of the biggest buyers of U.S. technology.“We’ve had 290-something requests for specific licenses,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in an interview with Fox Business Network late Tuesday. “We’ve now been starting to send out the 20-day intent-to-deny letters and some approvals.”In May, the U.S. added Huawei to what’s known as the entity list in an effort to block U.S. companies from selling components to China’s largest technology company, which it accuses of being a threat to America’s national security. Huawei has denied those claims.The listing, which requires American firms to obtain a government license in order to sell to blacklisted entities, has hurt some U.S. companies’ earnings and caused confusion as to what their relationship with their Chinese customer will be going forward.Strategic Rival“The Department is issuing these narrow licenses to authorize limited and specific activities which do not pose a significant risk to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States," a spokesman for the Commerce Department said in a statement. “Huawei and its affiliates will remain on the entity list.”The Trump administration’s curbs on the Chinese tech industry are part of its broader effort to contain Beijing’s rise as a strategic rival and economic superpower. The two nations are locked in trade talks aimed at reaching a truce after almost two years of negotiations and tariffs on some $500 billion of each other’s products.At a meeting in early October, President Donald Trump told his team that some Huawei licenses could be issued for non-sensitive items, a person familiar with the meeting said, but Commerce waited until now to move on the directive.It’s not clear which companies got approval to continue their business with Huawei and on what basis that decision was made.Some U.S. chipmakers have argued that a blanket ban is ineffective because their products can easily be obtained from overseas rivals not subject to it. They’ve proposed resuming shipments of some goods that aren’t connected to security-related products and asked the administration to refine its stance and expedite the licensing process.“We welcome the administration’s approval of export licenses for commercial semiconductor technologies that do not pose national security concerns,” John Neuffer, president and chief executive officer of the Semiconductor Industry Association, said Wednesday. “Sales of these non-sensitive commercial products help ensure the competitiveness of the U.S. semiconductor industry, which is essential to national security.”Trump promised chip company CEOs in a meeting over the summer that he would speed up the license approval process and again reiterated that promise after a meeting with Xi Jinping in Osaka, Japan.Amid the confusion, many companies have resumed partial shipments to Huawei. They’ve taken advantage of rules that define whether certain products are deemed U.S. made or not to use overseas subsidiaries and operations to avoid the ban.(Updates with statements from Commerce Department and industry group.)To contact the reporters on this story: Jenny Leonard in Washington at jleonard67@bloomberg.net;Ian King in San Francisco at ianking@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Margaret Collins, Sara FordenFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


  • November 20th 2019 at 19:49

Trump dismisses Sondland's damaging testimony, says 'I don’t know him very well.'

Trump dismisses Sondland's damaging testimony, says 'I don’t know him very well.'Reading from hand-written notes, Donald Trump focused on Sondland’s remarks that the president didn't tell him directly there was a quid pro quo.


  • November 20th 2019 at 19:48

Insurer Direct Line launches plan to shave expenses

Chief executive Penny James to expand business as part of new cost-cutting strategy

  • November 20th 2019 at 19:44

Insurer Direct Line launches plan to shave expenses

Chief executive Penny James to expand business as part of new cost-cutting strategy

  • November 20th 2019 at 19:44

General Motors sues Fiat Chrysler over bribes to auto union

General Motors sues Fiat Chrysler over bribes to auto unionGeneral Motors is suing Fiat Chrysler, alleging its rival benefitted from bribes to auto union officials that gave FCA an unfair benefit in labor talks, GM announced Wednesday. The lawsuit references guilty pleas by former FCA officials, who bribed former United Auto Workers officials, in a long-running case involving a UAW employee training program, that has tarnished the union's image. The suit comes only weeks after the UAW ended a lengthy strike at GM.


  • November 20th 2019 at 19:43

Prince Andrew Steps Down From Public Duties in Aftermath of Epstein Interview

By The New York Times

He also said he was willing to help law enforcement agencies in their investigations, and that he “unequivocally” regrets the “ill-judged association.”

Pentagon discovers $81 million of U.S. Navy gear during audit

Pentagon discovers $81 million of U.S. Navy gear during auditThe Pentagon found $81 million of military equipment at a U.S. Navy facility that had not been inventoried, a top Pentagon official said on Wednesday as he described the Department of Defense second straight failed audit. The Pentagon says that it has made progress toward fixing accounting discrepancies, but that it will take years to eventually pass a full audit, Deputy Secretary of Defense David Norquist told a U.S. Senate panel.


  • November 20th 2019 at 19:41

Catalan separatists ERC to consult base on whether to support Spanish leftist coalition

Catalan separatists ERC to consult base on whether to support Spanish leftist coalitionCatalan separatist party Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC) on Wednesday said it would ask its members whether they wanted to back a coalition government deal between the Socialists and the left-wing Unidas Podemos. The binding consultation, which will be held on November 25, hinges on whether acting prime minister Pedro Sanchez will engage in dialogue over the issue of Catalan independence. Sanchez won an election earlier in November.


  • November 20th 2019 at 19:41

Target shares hit mark after chain lifts forecasts

US retailer forecasts tenth straight quarter of same-store sales growth

  • November 20th 2019 at 19:40

Pierluigi Gazzolo to lead VIMN’s OTT and Studio businesses

By Robert Briel

Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) appointed Pierluigi Gazzolo, currently president of VIMN Americas and EVP of Nickelodeon International, as president of OTT International and Viacom International Studios (VIS).

Gazzolo will report to David Lynn, President & CEO of VIMN.

In this role, Gazzolo will initially focus on accelerating the rollout of Pluto TV across international markets, starting with a major launch across Latin America in early 2020. In addition, Gazzolo will further establish VIMN’s premium D2C products in partnership with distributors.

He will also be responsible for creating an integrated Viacom International Studios operation, managing original content creation assets across ViacomCBS internationally. This new structure will enable the company to accelerate the creation of original content across international markets, consistent with the ViacomCBS mission of becoming one of the world’s pre-eminent content companies.

Gazzolo will be responsible for establishing Viacom’s international business strategies, product offerings and operations for these critical growth areas of the business in all international markets. He will work closely with Marc DeBevoise, Chief Digital Officer for ViacomCBS and President and Chief Executive Officer of CBS Interactive and Tom Ryan, CEO and Co-Founder of Pluto TV to expand the company’s digital strategy to the international market.

David Lynn commented: “Pier is a uniquely dynamic executive and has an unrivalled track record of growing revenues for the entire VIMN ecosystem. Pier’s vision and leadership in acquiring and integrating both Telefe and Porta dos Fundos for the Americas business was a step-change for Viacom in the region and enabled the creation of a studio business, not just for the Americas, but for all of Viacom International. Additionally, Pier’s leadership in the streaming and OTT space has driven subscriber growth and established VIMN as a key player in OTT in the region partnering with MVPD’s and mobile operators. I’m confident that Pier will apply the same vision and rigor to launching these key business lines for ViacomCBS internationally as we continue to super serve our distribution partners.”

Pierluigi Gazzolo added: “With ViacomCBS’ position as one the world’s most important content creators and distributors, it’s an extraordinary moment to help drive the expansion of both Pluto TV and OTT internationally, which is the fastest growing part of the video business; and at the same time, create a unified international studio for Viacom – when the demand for content has never been greater.”

Labour plan for windfall tax on oil industry draws union outcry

Critics fear move will prompt companies to quit North Sea operations

  • November 20th 2019 at 19:38

U.K. Risks China’s Wrath With Latest Intervention Over Protests

U.K. Risks China’s Wrath With Latest Intervention Over Protests(Bloomberg) -- By accusing China of torturing a former British consulate employee in Hong Kong, the U.K. raised the stakes in a prolonged spat with Beijing over the pro-democracy protests in its former colony. Recent precedent suggests it’s a course of action fraught with risk.Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab’s decision to summon the Chinese ambassador over the treatment of Simon Cheng, who said Wednesday he was beaten for information about protesters in Hong Kong while he was detained in August, drew a firm rebuke from China. The Chinese government described the British minister’s remarks as “wrong” and warned that further interference “will eventually harm U.K. interests.”Calculated or not, the deterioration in ties comes at an inopportune time for Boris Johnson’s government, which has prioritized improved trade with the world’s second-largest economy after the U.K. leaves the European Union. The U.K. government already faces a delicate balancing act when it comes to relations with China. This includes the looming decision over whether to allow Huawei Technologies Co. to be part of Britain’s future mobile communications network -- against the wishes of the U.S.Canada provides an example of how quickly events can escalate. When the Royal Canadian Mounted Police detained Huawei’s chief financial officer on a U.S. extradition request last year, Beijing responded by throwing two Canadians into jail on spying allegations, putting another two on death row and halting about $3.8 billion in Canadian agricultural imports.HistoryAt the same time, turning a blind eye to events in Hong Kong is all but impossible. The U.K. returned the territory to Chinese rule in 1997 on the promise that Beijing would maintain the city’s independent courts, democratic institutions and capitalist financial system. Pro-democracy demonstrators have frequently called on the British government to intervene in their struggle. London has urged authorities to resolve concerns through dialog, and criticized the “disproportionate” use of force by police. Beijing has repeatedly accused London of meddling and ignoring Hong Kong’s change of status.Those tensions have come to the boil over the case of Cheng -- a Hong Kong resident who worked for the British consulate’s business-development team before he went missing in mainland China for 15 days in August.“Simon Cheng was a valued member of our team,” Raab, the most senior member of the British cabinet after Prime Minister Boris Johnson, said in a statement. He demanded an investigation into the “brutal and disgraceful treatment of Simon in violation of China’s international obligations.”Raab also said the U.K.’s Foreign Office was supporting Cheng and his fiancee, “including to come to the U.K.”At a regular news briefing in Beijing, Geng Shuang, a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry, said the case is not a diplomatic matter because it involves a Chinese national, and referred questions to “relevant authorities.” He said the former consulate worker had admitted to wrongdoing.Cheng was released on Aug. 24 after being held in extra-judicial detention for what state media said was a prostitution-related offense. He denied those allegations in his statement on Facebook on Wednesday.Opposition lawmakers have argued that Cheng’s case illustrates the arbitrary nature of the legal system in China, which has fueled recent protests in the city. Cheng said he was initially detained while returning via a high-speed railway station where Hong Kong agreed last year to let mainland agents operate despite fierce opposition from rights advocates.“Beijing is throwing down further signs of disrespect for the rule of law and taking a vindictive attitude toward Hong Kong citizens, particularly those with links to foreign countries,” said Willy Lam, an adjunct professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Centre for China Studies, who has written numerous books on Chinese politics. “This might resonate very badly, poison the atmosphere and prevent a peaceful and rational solution to the confrontation between the protesters and the SAR government.”In his statement, Cheng said he got a massage “for relaxation” during a work trip to Shenzhen. He acknowledge participating in some peaceful protests in Hong Kong and said he collected money from the parents of a mainland resident facing prosecution in the city for taking part in demonstrations.DetentionStill, Cheng denied what he described as “arbitrary accusations against me made by the authorities which were obtained through an illegal process, includes using torture, threats and coercion.”Cheng said his interrogators described him as a mastermind behind the Hong Kong protests, and one promised to keep him in jail indefinitely, causing him to contemplate suicide. He acknowledged sharing details about people in his social media groups to cut short his detention. He also said he had been warned by Chinese police he would face retribution if he spoke about his experiences.“I speak out now because the case is relevant to the public interest on knowing the flawed judicial process in mainland China,” he said. “I have not fully recovered from the trauma of what happened to me and because of the greater risk of retaliation that I face, I will give no further comment on the case.”\--With assistance from Joe Mayes, Crystal Chui, Iain Marlow and Lucille Liu.To contact the reporter on this story: Stuart Biggs in London at sbiggs3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, Stuart Biggs, Thomas PennyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


  • November 20th 2019 at 19:36

US STOCKS-Wall St drops on report trade deal may not be completed this year

US STOCKS-Wall St drops on report trade deal may not be completed this yearWall Street's main indexes fell about 1% on Wednesday after a report said a "phase one" trade deal between Washington and Beijing may not be completed this year. Completion of an initial trade deal could slide into next year, Reuters reported, citing trade experts and people close to the White House, as Beijing presses for more extensive tariff rollbacks, and the Trump administration counters with heightened demands of its own. Earlier a U.S. Senate measure aimed at protecting human rights in Hong Kong amid prolonged protests had escalated tensions with China and pressured the market.


  • November 20th 2019 at 19:36

3 big takeaways from Gordon Sondland's public testimony

3 big takeaways from Gordon Sondland's public testimonyGordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, was President Donald Trump’s handpicked dealmaker on Ukraine, according to his fellow impeachment witnesses. Sondland is considered a key witness in the House impeachment inquiry into Trump’s pressure campaign on Ukraine. Trump wanted Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to announce an investigation that would have, in part, targeted the president’s 2020 political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter, who had served on the board of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma.


  • November 20th 2019 at 19:36
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