LOS ANGELES - Viacom exec Doug Herzog was on vacation when Twitter blew up over controversial tweets newly minted Daily Show host Trevor Noah had made.
“Truthfully, it never occurred to us” to vet Noah’s Twitter before announcing he would succeed Jon Stewart on the Comedy Central show, said Herzog, president, Viacom Music & Entertainment Group.
”I’m not sure what we would have really done,” Herzog told interviewer Bill Weir, host and executive producer of CNN’s The Wonder List With Bill Weir, during PromaxBDA: The Conference on Tuesday. “But it should be a lesson to us all.”
“The truth of it is those tweets don’t mean much,” he added, explaining that some of the tweets were taken out of context and others were jokes that didn’t quite hit the mark.
Despite some “dark moments,” Herzog said he and the network stand by Noah.
The exec also fielded questions from Weir about content.
“There’s a lot of content out there. There’s a lot of white noise,” he said.
To break out of the white noise, “you’ve got to deliver something new and fresh and distinctive.”
Marketing can help bring the audience to the content but ultimately it’s the content, Herzog said, that has to be great.