ViacomCBS has named longtime exec Bruce Gillmer to the newly created position of President of Music, Music Talent, Programming & Events effective immediately and reporting directly to CEO Bob Bakish, who continues to make his mark on the newly merged company. In effect, Gillmer, who started at MTV in 1987, is the company’s new music czar, tasked with aligning and optimizing all music-driven initiatives.
“Bruce is a driving force behind many of our most iconic moments in music,” said Bakish. “Music is a thread uniting many of our brands, and I’m confident he will maximize the full power of our combined company’s portfolio to bring ViacomCBS’ global music events and programming to new heights.”
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Gillmer most recently served as Head of Global Music and Executive Vice President, Music & Talent, Programming & Events for Viacom International Media Networks.
In his expanded role, he will form and chair a new cross-company initiative to coordinate ViacomCBS’ music programming, talent and events strategy. With representation from all brands, the ViacomCBS Music Council will focus on leveraging global scale, talent partnerships and production expertise to extend its leadership in the space.
He will also lead the strategy for and development of music content on ViacomCBS’ expanded streaming offering.
And he will continue to oversee music talent, development and programming of music content, series and specials, and tentpole events for ViacomCBS’ Entertainment & Youth brands (MTV, Comedy Central, CMT, Logo, VH1, Pop TV, Paramount Network and Smithsonian Channel, and ViacomCBS Networks International) in partnership with Entertainment & Youth President Chris McCarthy and VCNI CEO David Lynn. This includes the creation and execution of worldwide music events including the MTV VMAs, MTV EMAs and, now, the MTV Movie & TV Awards. Internationally he will expand his remit to manage priority events across the brand portfolio.
The Music & Events, Celebrity Talent and Creative Music Integration teams across ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth brands will report into Gillmer along with the MTV International music and talent teams.
While at Viacom International Media Networks, Gilmer and his team created and produced music series, specials and initiatives, most recently MTV Fresh Out Live!; the reimagined, local versions of YO! MTV Raps in countries around the world; MTV documentary series The Ride; and MTV Push, a global initiative to spotlight new music talent, and many others.
His group continues to connect fans with artists during the coronavirus pandemic, from launching MTV Unplugged at Home globally to the worldwide MTV Prom-athon livestream.
Gillmer and his team have engineered culturally defining moments in music, the company noted, including the historic U2 and Jay-Z collaboration at the Brandenburg Gate for the 2009 MTV EMAs to performances from Lady Gaga to Andrea Bocelli. He executive produced some of the world’s largest music events, including several MTV VMAs and 13 MTV EMAs.
Prior to his international and global roles, Gillmer was Senior Vice President of Music and Talent Relations for VH1 in the U.S. He began his career in the MTV Music and Talent department in 1987, working on iconic series and specials including Headbangers Ball, MTV Spring Break, YO! MTV Raps and more at a time when the network was transforming the music industry.
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