John Sykes Out at MTV Networks

Longtime Cable-Programming Veteran to Start New Broadband Venture

MTV Networks veteran John Sykes is leaving the company and his role as president of network development.

John Sykes

Sykes helped to start MTV and VH1 and spent the past three years at the company trying to start new broadband channels aimed at consumers 33-50 -- a demo the company considered underserved. As MTVN put resources toward key younger demos, his division was rendered to be outside of its business objectives.

Sykes was on board for MTV’s launch 25 years ago and was president of VH1 from 1994-2002. After a brief stint at Infinity Broadcasting -- Viacom’s then-radio division which is now CBS Radio -- he returned to MTVN in 2005.

“Many have left their indelible mark on MTV Networks over the years, but John's creative leadership, bold thinking and social responsibility -- not to mention the world's greatest A-list relationships -- truly shaped our company,” MTVN CEO Judy McGrath said in an internal e-mail to staff. “John isn't just in tune with popular culture -- he isn't satisfied unless he is defining it.”