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Raffaele Annecchino out at Paramount Global as Paramount+ enters Asia

Tving viewers can now stream Paramount+ content including Halo

Raffaele Annecchino, president and CEO of international networks, studios and streaming at Paramount, has been put on leave from the company with immediate effect.

Annecchino oversaw all of Paramount Global’s media networks and related businesses outside the US, including Channel 5 in the UK, Telefe in Argentina and Network 10 in Australia, as well as its portfolio of international streaming products Paramount+, Pluto TV and Noggin.

Regional executives JC Acosta, president of international studios, streaming and networks for Southern Europe, Latin America, Middle East and Africa; Maria Kyriacou, president of Australia, Canada, Israel and UK; and Mark Specht, executive VP and MD for Central and Northern Europe and Asia, will step in to cover for Annecchino, according to reports.

Raffaele Annecchino

No reason for the Paramount veteran’s abrupt exit has been given. The exec jointed the company, then known as National Amusements, in 1997 having previously worked at Turner International, Cartoon Network and CNN and has held numerous senior roles at the media giant since then.

These include general manager for MTV Spain, president and CEO of ViacomCBS Networks International and executive VP and MD of Viacom International Media Networks South Europe, Africa and Middle East.

Earlier this year Madrid-based Annecchino, who has been leading to roll-out of streamer Paramount+ and Pluto TV in Europe, shed light on Paramount Global’s growth plans during a keynote speech at SeriesMania. Last month, two execs were promoted at Paramount Global, reporting to Annecchino, who himself reported to Paramount president and CEO Bob Bakish.

Annecchino’s exit comes as Paramount+ continues to expand its footprint after launching in Korea as part of a multilateral global partnership with Korea’s CJ ENM on its platform Tving. It marks the first time the service has been made available in Asia.

Existing Tving subscribers can now stream Paramount+ content, such as Halo, Yellowjackets and 1883, as well as Paramount Pictures’ classics such as Top Gun and The Godfather, at no extra charge.

The launch is part of a strategic global partnership between Paramount Global and CJ ENM that includes content licensing and distribution across Paramount+ and Tving, as well as seven Korean original series.

The first Korean local production resulting from this partnership is Yonder, which will premiere later this year on Tving in Korea. The show will also debut on Paramount+ in all international markets where the service is available.

Set in 2032, Yonder is a science-fiction drama series about a man who receives a message from his deceased wife inviting him to the mysterious space called Yonder. The space is designed for the dead to be able to live on by uploading memories of their lifetime from their brain.

The show raises questions about life and death and what it means to have eternal happiness as humanity faces a world altered by advancements in science and technology.

As part of the company’s investment in content, Paramount is also looking at opportunities and projects for Korean adaptations of known Paramount scripted IPs, global franchises and reality programmes.

Specht said: “The launch of Paramount+ in Korea with Tving marks a pivotal moment in our expansion, as we introduce our premium streaming service to Asia.

“South Korea is a vibrant market for streaming as well as content production, music and culture. We are very excited to partner with CJ ENM to expand our streaming business and produce great Korean content for audiences in Korea, Asia and around the globe.”

In related news, Paramount+ has ordered School Spirits (working title), produced by the Awesomeness live-action studio and based on the upcoming young-adult graphic novel by Nate and Megan Trinrud and Maria Nguyen, to series.

The eight-episode season is set to star Peyton List, with Oliver Goldstick serving as showrunner and executive producer, along with Nate and Megan Trinrud, who wrote the pilot.

The series focuses on a teen stuck in the afterlife who decides to investigate her mysterious disappearance alongside a group of other students who are also stuck in limbo at their high school. The graphic novel is planned for publication in fall 2023 by Clarion Books/HarperAlley, an imprint of HarperCollins Children’s Books.

It will be overseen by Shauna Phelan and Zack Olin, executive VPs and co-heads of Nickelodeon and Awesomeness live-action series and film.

The project joins Paramount+’s growing line-up of YA content, including the service’s iCarly series revival and the upcoming film Honor Society, starring Angourie Rice. Both projects were also produced by Paramount’s Nickelodeon and Awesomeness live-action studios.


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