Doug Herzog replaces Albie Hecht as president, Spike TV, adding the responsibility of overseeing the first network for men to his existing role as president, Comedy Central. Comedy Central and Spike TV will form a new unit, within MTV Networks, under Herzog. Herzog will report to Herb Scannell, MTV Networks Group president on Spike TV, and will continue to report to Judy McGrath, chairman, MTV Networks, on Comedy Central. Herzog will continue to be based in Los Angeles.
In making this announcement, Scannell said, "Doug is a great leader with an incredible track record in developing original hit programming. Spike TV has had great success to date, branding the network strongly and connecting with viewers and advertisers, which has resulted in ratings and ad sales gains. I know Doug will take Spike to the next level, by creating strong series for a broader male demo and by furthering the networks' connection with viewers and business partners."
McGrath added, "I couldn't be more thrilled to have Doug's influence and creative energy on Spike TV -- and to create a new unit, under him, along with Comedy Central. Culturally and from a business perspective, there are tremendous opportunities and advantages, to bring these two networks together, that share a highly desirable demographic but speak to it independently."
Herzog said, "I am truly looking forward to working on Spike TV. In an extremely short time, they have built a strong brand that is relevant to its core audience and well-known in a cluttered marketplace. Personally, I'm looking forward to finding out what men really want and figuring out how to put some legal version of that on television."
Spike TV launched as the first network for men on Aug. 11, 2003, and currently is ranked as the third highest rated basic cable network among M, 18-49 (year-to-date) in primetime, according to Nielsen. In less than two years Spike TV has garnered near 100% awareness as a brand for men, and achieved double-digit growth in advertising.
Herzog returned to Comedy Central in March 2004, during his initial time at the network (July 1995-November 1998), he helped create the Comedy Central brand that is flourishing today. In between, Herzog held senior positions at USA Network and FOX. In November 1998 Herzog served as president of entertainment for FOX Broadcasting Co. where he was responsible for all FOX programming, scheduling and marketing. While at FOX, 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.
Prior to Comedy Central, Herzog spent 11 years at where he was serving simultaneously as evp of programming for the network and president of MTV Prods.
MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom International Inc., owns and operates the following television programming services -- MTV: Music Television, MTV2, VH1, mtvU, Nickelodeon, Nick At Nite, Comedy Central, TV Land, Spike TV, CMT, Noggin, Logo, MTVN International and The Digital Suite From MTV Networks, a package of 13 digital services, all of which are trademarks of MTV Networks.