The big question inside MTV Networks is: Whom will Tom Freston anoint to fill his old job as CEO? Freston says only that the prime candidates are the four members of MTVN's senior management committee and that he'll name his successor soon (probably this week). The big question: Can Freston can keep the runners-up happy?
MTV, VH1, Comedy Central
Spent most of her professional career forging one of the strongest brands in television, MTV, and is trying to spread that success to VH1 and Comedy. Adept at surviving MTV's downturns over the years. One big question: how corporate does she want to get?
Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite, TV Land, Spike TV
Equally skilled at managing his brands, characters like Sponge Bob and Dora, and the Nielsens. Rules the kids business and has kept Nick the No. 1 network in all-day viewers. Will his quiet approach to management hurt him as he contends for such a high-profile job?
President and COO
An affiliate-sales rep who rose to run MTVN's monster ad sales and other business operations. But no matter how much money Rosenthal brings in, insiders believe Freston will favor a programming executive.
MTV Networks International
Proof that Freston did not have the best job in television, Roedy shepherded the spread of MTV and Nickelodeon first through Europe, then over the rest of the globe. He is popular on the road but isn't as well known among the troops back in the States.