In the wake of Tom Frestons recent elevation to co-president and co-coo, Viacom Inc. he today (July 20, 2004) named Judy McGrath chairman/ceo, MTV Networks. McGrath, who reports directly to Freston, was previously MTV Networks Group president, responsible for MTV, MTV2, VH1, CMT, Comedy Central and the recently announced LOGO, set to launch in 2005. Freston also announced that, regrettably, Mark Rosenthal, currently president/coo, MTV Networks, has made the decision to leave the company.
McGrath takes on Freston's previous role, which includes overall responsibility for these networks as well as Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Spike TV, TV Land, Noggin, The N, MTV Networks Digital Suite, MTV Networks Intl and all of the company's related consumer products and digital businesses. Herb Scannell, MTV Networks Group president, responsible for Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Spike TV, TV Land, Noggin and the N will report directly to McGrath, along with Bill Roedy, president, MTV Networks Intl.
"Judy is the perfect fit for this job, Freston said. Ours is a business of creative vision, smart brand building, unrelenting consumer focus and good execution. We are riding at an all-time high now, clearly the industry leader, and I feel very proud and fortunate to be able to turn this job over to Judy and very much look forward to seeing her influence on the company grow and grow."
Freston added, "It is with great respect and appreciation that we support Mark's decision to leave the company. He had a great career here over many, many years and, under his leadership, our sales and the corporate groups he manages have never been in better shape. On the heels of what looks to be a record breaking upfront and a phenomenal year of growth, Mark leaves us extremely well positioned for the future. We will miss him enormously and have a great deal of pride in his accomplishments here."
McGrath takes the helm of MTV Networks with each of its businesses operating at record highs, from both a creative and business perspective. MTV Networks reaches 400 million viewers in 164 countries and 18 languages through 94 channels worldwide. MTV Networks is an industry leader with an unmatched portfolio of cable network brands with a demonstrated ability to outperform industry peers and consistently deliver double-digit bottom line growth.
Under her direction, MTV grew from a maverick cable channel to a maverick global brand that has come to symbolize a culture, a style, an attitude and a vibrant musical landscape. McGrath and her team have developed programs and events that have become cultural landmarks to young people, including the MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS, the MTV MOVIE AWARDS, TOTAL REQUEST LIVE, THE REAL WORLD, MTV NEWS, MAKING THE BAND, THE OSBOURNES and PUNK'D.
In addition to her achievements at MTV, McGrath has worked to grow MTV2, now in over 55 million homes, to a leading all-music video network. VH1 has reinvented its brand with new series and is coming off its most watched quarter ever. Comedy Central, which is stronger than ever with the hit shows including RENO 911, CHAPELLE'S SHOW and the Emmy-winning THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART. CMT is also enjoying its largest viewership ever, with the record-setting CMT Flameworthy Awards, and with a real, daily commitment to the new look and sound of country music. And, LOGO, the first 24/7 advertising-supported television network dedicated to providing entertainment with an authentically gay and lesbian sensibility will launch in February 2005.
A member of the MTV family since its first days, McGrath joined Warner Amex Satellite Ent. Co. (WASEC), MTV Networks' predecessor company, in 1981 as a copywriter in MTV's On-Air Promotions department and made her mark with contests like "Devo Goes Hawaiian" and "One Night Stand with Journey." She subsequently moved up the ranks and became editorial director, MTV; evp/cd, MTV; and then president, MTV. Before joining the company, she held positions as copy chief of GLAMOUR magazine and senior writer for MADEMOISELLE MAGAZINE.