NEW YORK, May 5, 2011 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B) announced today that Judy McGrath is resigning from her position as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of its MTV Networks division. Ms. McGrath, who began her career with the company as a copywriter at MTV in 1981, was named Chairman and CEO of MTV Networks in July 2004. The company said that a successor would not be named.
Ms. McGrath said, "The people of MTV Networks have always been singularly important to me. Together we have built world-class brands that connect with fans from kid to adulthood, from SpongeBob to Hot In Cleveland, from Unplugged to The Daily Show. We have attracted and nurtured the best talent in the world, and I know that will always be a hallmark of the company. Creatively, financially, all the brands and businesses are in wonderful shape today. I leave with pride, joy and gratitude for the ride of a lifetime. I especially thank my friends and colleagues on the senior team, who will continue to lead a kick-ass organization. They have my respect and affection, always."
Viacom President and Chief Executive Officer Philippe Dauman said, "Judy has long been the creative heart and inspiring soul of MTV Networks and has deservedly been associated with so much of the great entertainment, cultural relevance, social significance and business success that have defined our media networks over the years. Her positive and passionate spirit has helped create an organization that is recognized for truly listening to its audiences, not only about their entertainment choices, but also about the social issues and the causes that matter to them most.
"We will all miss Judy enormously, but we respect her decision and understand her desire to leave at the very top of the game with a legacy of success that stretches from the earliest days of cable television to current season highlights. The networks under her direction are rapidly expanding to new platforms and reaching new creative and ratings milestones, all under the able guidance of experienced and talented management teams. With a deep executive bench and our popular and growing stable of media network brands, we are confident that Viacom won't miss a beat and will flourish."
With the departure of Ms. McGrath, the executives in charge of MTV Networks' operating units: Doug Herzog, President, MTVN Entertainment Group; Van Toffler, President, MTVN Music & Logo Group; and Cyma Zarghami, President, Nickelodeon & MTVN Kids & Family Group, will report directly to Mr. Dauman.
During Ms. McGrath's time at the helm of MTVN, the company's portfolio of brands, including MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, TV Land, VH1, CMT and Spike, have become cultural landmarks. Ms. McGrath has also worked tirelessly to raise the consciousness of viewers, address their issues in a meaningful way and empower audiences. Among the programs she has championed are Nickelodeon's worldwide "Let's Just Play," mtvU's "Darfur is Dying," MTV's Peabody Award-winning "Choose or Lose" and Emmy award-winning "Fight For Your Rights" campaigns and the "Hope For Haiti" telethon.
Ms. McGrath held a succession of positions at MTV Networks since the launch of MTV in 1981. She began her career at Conde Nast Publications. Ms. McGrath is on the Board of Governors of the American Red Cross and the Board of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, and she serves on the Advisory Board for the United Nation Foundation's Girl Up Campaign.
Viacom is home to the world's premier entertainment brands. Through its BET Networks, MTV Networks and Paramount Pictures divisions, Viacom connects with audiences through compelling content across television, motion picture, online and mobile platforms in more than 160 countries and territories. With approximately 170 media networks reaching more than 600 million global subscribers, Viacom's leading brands include MTV, VH1, CMT, Logo, BET, CENTRIC, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., TeenNick, Nicktoons, Nick at Nite, COMEDY CENTRAL, TV Land, Spike TV and Tr3s. Paramount Pictures, America's oldest film studio and creator of many of the most beloved motion pictures, continues today as a major global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment. Viacom operates a large portfolio of branded digital media experiences, including many of the world's most popular properties for entertainment, community and casual online gaming. For more information about Viacom and its businesses, visit www.viacom.com.
SOURCE Viacom Inc.