Mtv Chief Resigns -- Was She Forced Out?
In what several reports suggested was the end of an era, Judy McGrath resigned Thursday as CEO of Viacom's MTV Networks, which include MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central. It was not clear whether she was pushed or jumped. McGrath's history at MTV goes back to its origins as a video jukebox 30 years ago, when she worked as a copywriter in the promotions department. She has served as CEO since 2004 but in recent years has reportedly been fending off -- unsuccessfully -- intrusions into her domain by Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman, regarded as a conservative, tight-fisted executive who took over administration of MTV's international channels in January, renaming them Viacom International Media Networks. Dauman will now take over most of McGrath's duties, reports indicated, and is expected to rename the company Viacom Networks. Some reports have suggested that Dauman had already taken over de facto control. Today's (Friday) New York Post quoted one MTV source as saying that he had been "running meetings or sending announcements -- most things were coming from him. ... [McGrath] was like, 'Fine, run it.'" McGrath leaves the company as each of the MTV channels is performing at its peak. "Creatively, financially, all the brands and businesses are in wonderful shape today," she said in a statement. "I leave with pride, joy and Gratitude for the ride of a lifetime." Meanwhile, Viacom confirmed on Thursday that it plans to launch a new female-oriented channel with reality show producer Endemol. The company said that it first wants to conduct "a proof of concept" for the show by launching it first in Poland.