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MTG’s Gladnikoff replaces Viaplay chief

Scandinavian media operator Modern Times Group (MTG) has appointed one of its execs to oversee operations at streaming service Viaplay after incumbent Jonas Karlén revealed he was leaving the company.

Ira Gladnikoff

Ira Gladnikoff, most recently the streamer’s chief commercial officer, has been named head of Viaplay with immediate effect, having joined MTG in 2015.

She replaces Karlén, who joined MTG in 2008 and had been leading Viaplay since 2015. His next move is not yet known.

Viaplay offers TV series, films, live sport and kids’ content as well as original productions to its subscribers, which have quadrupled in number between 2013 and 2016, according to MTG.

Anders Jensen, MTG’s exec VP and chairman of the company’s Nordic Entertainment management board, and CEO at MTG Sweden, said: “It is great that we have a ready-made successor in Ira, who has extensive experience in the online video entertainment space and, as CCO of Viaplay, has been responsible for so much of Viaplay’s commercial success.”

Gladnikoff added that she wanted to embrace the “many opportunities to work with our fellow MTG Nordic entertainment brands to deliver even more integrated and engaging entertainment experiences. This is just the beginning.”

Viaplay’s originals include LA-set comedy Swedish Dicks and drama series Veni Vidi Vici, as well as legal drama The Lawyer and political thriller Embassy Down.

MTG has been moving away from broadcasting in recent years, refocusing its efforts on Viaplay and investing in multi-channel networks such as Splay and Zoomin.TV.

Over the past three years it has sold stakes in Russian broadcaster CTC Media; agreed a deal to sell its businesses in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania; offloaded two Hungarian channels to Sony Pictures Television; and completed the sale of its free TV broadcasting and production businesses in Ghana and Nigeria.

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