Viacom moves to bolster government relations

Entertainment conglomerate and MTV-owner Viacom has hired a veteran of UK public affairs for its top European lobbying role.

MTV: a Viacom brand
MTV: a Viacom brand

Philip Jenner will join Viacom as its first V-P of government relations, based in London. He will be responsible for relationships with government ministers, trade bodies and NGOs across Europe.

Jenner joins the multibillion-dollar media firm from Discovery Communications, parent of the Discovery Channel, where he was director of international public policy and government affairs.

He has represented Discovery's business interests in policy discussions with national government leaders and the EU, taking responsibility for licensing and regulatory compliance in the UK.

At Viacom, which owns DreamWorks and MTV, among others, Jenner will establish the company's lobbying presence in Westminster and Brussels, developing and advocating its public policy positions. He will report to DeDe Lea, Viacom's executive V-P of government relations in Washington, DC.

Before his three-year stint at Discovery, Jenner spent ten years at BSkyB as a senior public affairs adviser, developing the broadcaster's position on major UK and EU policy issues.

While at BSkyB, he spent 18 months on secondment to the Cabinet Office Regulatory Impact Unit. Jenner has also worked at the Westminster Communications Group as a senior account manager.

Viacom made more than $13bn in revenue last year, thanks to its stable of high-profile media brands, which include children's channel Nickelodeon and film distributor Paramount Pictures.

The media conglomerate is currently embroiled in a $1bn lawsuit with Google, accusing Google-owned website YouTube for massive copyright infringement.

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