Viacom Names Head of Music, Youth Networks in Russia

Viacom International Media Networks, the international channels arm of the Hollywood conglomerate behind MTV, Nickelodeon and other networks, has appointed TV host and producer Yana Churikova, who oversaw the recent relaunch of MTV Russia, as head of youth and music broadcasting in Russia.

"Thanks to Yana Churikova, we were able to not only successfully relaunch MTV Russia, but, which is most important, to introduce the Russian audience to the channel and the brand in the way it is valued and loved all over the world," said Elena Balmont, general manager of VIMN Russia, CIS, Ukraine and the Baltics.

She added that within less than four months of MTV Russia's relaunch, deals with key pay TV operators have made the network available in a majority of Russian markets, while its Facebook page has attracted more than 1.5 million followers.

In her new position, Churikova will be overseeing MTV Russia and VIMN's niche music channels in the country, with future plans including further adaptations of MTV Russia programming and a step-up in local content production.

"I'm very glad to be part of VIMN team and continue our collaboration in a new position, which covers all VIMN music channels in Russia,” Churikova said, adding that she would pay special attention to increasing the presence of MTV Russia on mobile devices.

MTV Russia was relaunched in October as a cable and satellite TV channel under Viacom's full control after it was previously operated by local license holders on a free-to-air basis for more than 14 years.

In 2012, the local franchise holder, ProfMedia, made the decision not to resume its license agreement and launched a new entertainment channel, Pyatnitsa, on the frequency formerly used by MTV Russia.

This article originally appeared in The Hollywood Reporter.