Nearly a decade after his first stint at Comedy Central began, programming and network-branding guru Doug Herzog rejoins the all-comedy channel as president, replacing Larry Divney, who will retire. Herzog will be based in the network's Los Angeles office, as of early May 2004.
Herzog, during his initial time at the network (July 1995-November 1998), helped create the Comedy Central brand as he developed and launched many of the current signature standouts, from the award-winning THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART to the long-running SOUTH PARK. Herzog is also credited with cult hits like WIN BEN STEIN'S MONEY, STRANGERS WITH CANDY and VIVA VARIETY (from the creators of the recent network hit, RENO 911!) in his tenure at Comedy Central. In addition, Herzog was instrumental in launching the network's Roast franchise. On his watch, Comedy Central increased its audience for 14 consecutive quarters.
"With Larry literally heading to the farm, Comedy Central should enjoy a seamless transition back to Doug, since we can skip the presidential training and just get right to the business of arguing over all the things that weve changed since he left, said Judy McGrath, MTV Networks group president (or president, Funny Music Group). I knew we couldnt replace Divney with Herzog but we could bookend him with Herzog." She added, "Seriously, I couldnt be more thrilled about Doug coming in to run Comedy Central he is such an excellent creative leader, colleague and champion of original talent and content, and I know that he will, once again, take the network to a whole new level of success. He just has to stop talking about MONK and MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE.
Tom Freston, chairman, MTV Networks said, "Getting Doug Herzog to run Comedy Central is an opportunity that only comes twice in a lifetime. He's the perfect guy to take Comedy Central to new levels of success and hilarity. I look forward to having Doug at our table with his many talents and his fat Rolodex."
Herzog said, "If I had known SOUTH PARK was going to last this long I would have never left in the first place."
Herzog left Comedy Central in November 1998 to serve as president of entertainment for FOX Broadcasting Co. where he was responsible for all FOX programming, scheduling and marketing. There he shepherded the continuing hit comedy MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE, and the cult favorite ACTION. He was named president of USA Network in March 2001 where his emphasis on original programming produced such innovative hit series as MONK, and THE DEAD ZONE, and such projects as RUDY: THE RUDY GIULIANI STORY and the recently-broadcast, TRAFFIC: THE MINISERIES.
Herzog spent 11 years at MTV prior to joining Comedy Central in 1995. When he left MTV for the all-comedy channel, he was serving simultaneously as evp of programming for the network and president of MTV Prods. At MTV, he developed and supervised MTV News and popular shows such as THE REAL WORLD, UNPLUGGED and ROAD RULES, as well as the network's signature MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS and MTV MOVIE AWARDS.
Prior to MTV, Herzog served as a segment producer for ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT and as an associate producer at Turner Broadcasting System where he began his career with the then newly-launched CNN and SuperStation TBS.