Viacom’s top domestic distribution executive Denise Denson is departing the company after 22 years.
Denson, who had a fearsome reputation and ruled the roost under a variety of chief executives, is being replaced by a former CBS executive, Tom Gorke, who on Monday was named executive vice president, content distribution.
Denson had some epic battles in recent years that resulted in Viacom being dropped permanently from cable operator Suddenlink in 2015 and temporarily by DirecTV in 2012 — both over fee disputes.
Viacom was also sued in 2013 by Cablevision, now under new ownership, for forcing the cable company to purchase an entire bundle of networks.
Denson’s exit is one of a handful of changes being made by new acting Chief Executive Bob Bakish, who said that improving relations with pay-TV firms was one of his priorities.
Gorke said in statement, “Viacom’s cable…