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“Judy’s positive and passionate spirit has helped create an organization that is recognized for truly listening to its audiences, not only about their entertainment choices, but also about the social issues and the causes that matter to them most.”
——Philippe Dauman
McGRATH LEAVES MTV AFTER HISTORIC 30-YEAR RUN
TV Legend Has Left a Gigantic Footprint
It’s the end of an era—one that has spanned three decades.

MTV Networks Chairwoman/CEO Judy McGrath has resigned from her post, which she’s held since 2004, Viacom announced this morning. The company said that a successor would not be named. 

A television-business legend, McGrath began her career at MTV at its very beginnings in 1981 and was an integral part of the core team that made the upstart cable channel a historic and potent marriage of music and TV.

“The people of MTV Networks have always been singularly important to me,” said McGrath. “Together we have built world-class brands that connect with fans from kid to adulthood, from SpongeBob to Hot in Cleveland, from Unplugged to The Daily Show. We have attracted and nurtured the best talent in the world, and I know that will always be a hallmark of the company. Creatively, financially, all the brands and businesses are in wonderful shape today. I leave with pride, joy and gratitude for the ride of a lifetime. I especially thank my friends and colleagues on the senior team, who will continue to lead a kick-ass organization. They have my respect and affection, always.”

In making the announcement, Viacom President Philippe Dauman said: “Judy has long been the creative heart and inspiring soul of MTV Networks and has deservedly been associated with so much of the great entertainment, cultural relevance, social significance and business success that have defined our media networks over the years. Her positive and passionate spirit has helped create an organization that is recognized for truly listening to its audiences, not only about their entertainment choices, but also about the social issues and the causes that matter to them most. 

“We will all miss Judy enormously, but we respect her decision and understand her desire to leave at the very top of the game with a legacy of success that stretches from the earliest days of cable television to current season highlights. The networks under her direction are rapidly expanding to new platforms and reaching new creative and ratings milestones, all under the able guidance of experienced and talented management teams. With a deep executive bench and our popular and growing stable of media network brands, we are confident that Viacom won’t miss a beat and will flourish.”

With the departure of McGrath, the executives in charge of MTV Networks’ operating units are Doug Herzog, President, MTVN Entertainment Group; Van Toffler, President, MTVN Music & Logo Group; and Cyma Zarghami, President, Nickelodeon & MTVN Kids & Family Group. All will report directly to Dauman.

During McGrath’s time at the helm of MTVN, the company’s portfolio of brands, including MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, TV Land, VH1, CMT and Spike, have become cultural landmarks, the Vicom statement noted. Among the programs she has championed are Nickelodeon’s worldwide Let’s Just Play, mtvU’s Darfur Is Dying and MTV’s Peabody Award-winning Choose or Lose, as well as the Emmy-winning Fight for Your Rights campaigns and the Hope for Haiti telethon.

She started at MTV even before its 1981 launch as a copywriter, developing such early campaigns as "Devo Goes Hawaiian" and "One Night Stand with Journey."

McGrath, who began her career at Conde Nast Publications, is on the Board of Governors of the American Red Cross and the board of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, and she serves on the advisory board for the United Nation Foundation’s Girl Up Campaign

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