MTV's McGrath Stepping Down
No successor will be named
By Jon Lafayette & Andrea Morabito -- Broadcasting & Cable, 5/5/2011 10:37:28 AM
The company said a successor would not be named. Van Toffler, Doug Herzog and Cyma Zarghami, who head Viacom's major cable network groups, will all report directly to Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman.
"The people of MTV Networks have always been singularly important to me," said McGrath in a statement. "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."
McGrath has been with MTV since the year of its launch in 1981, starting as a copywriter and rising through the ranks. She was named CEO in 2004, reporting to her mentor, MTV co-founder Tom Freston, before he was fired as Viacom co-president and co-COO in 2006.
She is leaving MTV as the company's flagship channel as it is enjoying resurgence in ratings thanks to the success of reality shows like Jersey Shore and Teen Mom.
"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," said Dauman in a statement. "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 Viacom statement did not give a reason for McGrath's departure or suggest her future plans.
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