Viacom CIO David Kline ’89, ’92
Melville, N.Y. native earned B.S. in marketing & MBA on the cusp of the Information Age
Morgan Lyle,Assistant Director of Public Relations
C.W. Post Campus,
Long Island University
Brookville, N.Y. - Bringing hit shows like "The Daily Show" and "Jersey Shore" and networks like BET, MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon to fans around the world is complex and challenging – and that's just the way David Kline likes it.
"It does make your head spin a little bit," said Kline, Vice President for Technology and Chief Information Officer at Viacom and an alumnus of the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University. "That's one of the fun things about being in technology: It's always changing. You always have to think about better ways of doing things."
At various points in his career, Kline has held positions with responsibilities including facilities management, real estate and purchasing. But as a chief information officer since 2001 – first at Rainbow Communications, Cablevision Systems' content subsidiary, then at Discovery Communications and now at Viacom – technology has been at the core of his work. Today, his challenges include presenting Viacom's content on platforms ranging from cable TV to iPads, and protecting it from unauthorized use while making it as accessible as possible.
Kline's duties include strategic leadership for Viacom's technology infrastructure, along with overseeing the MTV Networks Online Technology and Interactive Services, Content Creation and Distribution Technologies, Applications Development, and Information Security and Compliance.
Announcing Kline's appointment, Viacom Chief Financial Officer James Barge said, "David's extensive industry experience and strong record of across-the-board creativity and achievement made him an excellent choice for this important role at Viacom, and we look forward to working with him on plans to take our IT operations to the next level."
Upon graduating from Half Hollow Hills West High School, Kline went to work as a data entry clerk at North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, learning to use computers at the dawn of the Information Age. He worked full-time while earning a Bachelor of Science degree in business management with a concentration in marketing at C.W. Post.
"You learn how to market yourself and you learn how to understand people and relate to them," he recalled of his undergraduate days. "And on the management side, the degree gave me some operational prowess."
Upon graduating in 1989, Kline returned to C.W. Post for a Master of Business Administration degree with a concentration on information technology, with tuition covered by his employer, North Shore-LIJ. The MBA program afforded him big-picture perspective. "I was a jack of all trades, back when it was called data processing. My degree allowed me to give some thought to why I was doing what I was doing," he said. "It enabled me to see the trees through the forest. I got to interact with a lot of smart professors. A lot of them had extensive experience in the field, and they taught me how to think about what I was doing and why."
Today, Kline is a leader at a company that originates some of the world's most popular programming and features mega-celebrities like Jon Stewart and Nicole "Snookie" Polizzi.
"You do get to see a lot of talent, which is wonderful thing, but a lot of the talent is behind the scenes, which people don't see," Kline said. "They're talented and creative and really troopers, and they really make up the core of the company."
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