Nickelodeon and Milkshake strengthen British pre-school content with new VP of programming

Kids' programming veteran and former Disney exec, Louise Bucknole has been welcomed to a newly created role at VIMN Kids.
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Viacom International Media Networks has named Louise Bucknole its new VP programming, VIMN Kids.

In the newly created role, Bucknole is being tasked with driving ratings performance and brand strength for the Nickelodeon channels and Milkshake on Channel 5.

She will look to develop British pre-school content to compete with global leaders in the field, continue to develop the VIMN Kids team and evolve both kids brands to continue to serve and reach their audiences.

In her Milkshake role, Bucknole will also have a business development remit to work with commercial, consumer products and events teams to expand the brand and ensure best in class activations in addition to her responsibility to source for development commissioned and acquired content.

“Louise has an incredible wealth of experience in the children’s television industry across both the PSB and pay TV sectors and her expertise in scheduling and channel planning will help us to further drive ratings improvement for both Nickelodeon and Milkshake,” said Alison Bakunowich, SVP, general manager, Nickelodeon UK and Milkshake.

Bucknole will report into Bakunowich and will have a secondary reporting line into Ben Frow, director of programmes, Channel 5.

Most recently director of programming at Disney Channels UK and Ireland, Bucknole has been described as a passionate advocate of UK children’s content. In her previous role she was responsible for leading all strategic, editorial, commercial and operational aspects of content strategy.

This included commissioning and acquisitions including Curious George, Miraculous, Hotel Transylvania and Pokémon.

Prior to her six year stint at Disney, Bucknole worked as head of scheduling, BBC Children’s, where she oversaw content strategy for CBBC, CBeebies, the children’s blocks on BBC One, BBC Two and iPlayer.

Bucknole said: “I am delighted to be joining Viacom International Media Networks where I will work across both the Nickelodeon and Milkshake brands to bring much loved content to kids to excite, inspire and entertain them.

“This brings together my 20 years content and broadcasting experience across the commercial and PSB kids sectors and I can’t wait to join this brilliant team.”

Nickelodeon is currently the number one commercial broadcaster in pay TV homes and Channel 5 Milkshake is set for its fifth year of growth.

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