Deborah Norville, left, and Cristiana Falcone Sorrell. (PRNewsFoto/Viacom )
Television personality Deborah Norville and Cristiana Falcone Sorrell, wife of one of the advertising industry's most influential executives, have joined the board of media company Viacom Inc.
Norville, who rose to fame as co-host of NBC's "Today" show in 1990, has been the anchor of the syndicated newsmagazine show "Inside Edition" for more than 15 years.
Falcone Sorrell serves as an adviser to the chairman of the World Economic Forum. Her husband is Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive of the WPP Group, the global advertising behemoth that employs 162,000 people in 110 countries and generates more than $15 billion a year in revenue.
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New York-based Viacom, controlled by 89-year-old mogul Sumner Redstone, owns such cable channels as MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, BET, Nickelodeon and the Hollywood based movie studio, Paramount Pictures.
Their election came during a board meeting following Viacom's annual meeting with shareholders Thursday. With the appointments, Viacom's board expanded to 13 members from 11.
"We are pleased that Cristiana and Deborah have joined the Viacom board of directors, bringing valuable skills and complementary experience to our current board," Redstone said in a statement.
"Cristiana's experience across global economies and her track record of launching innovative development campaigns, and Deborah's depth of knowledge based on her exceptional career in the media industry, will provide important ongoing guidance and perspective," Redstone said.
Before joining the World Economic Forum in 2004, Falcone Sorrell worked at the International Labour Organization and Shell. She also serves as a principal consultant to the Inter-American Development Bank.
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