Viacom Announces New Structure for Media Networks Group
Viacom Media Networks streamlines to four operating groups
Paramount Network and TV Land will now operate alongside Comedy Central
CMT joins MTV, VH1 and Logo Group
Kevin Kay to leave the company
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA) today announced a new, simplified structure for Viacom Media Networks (VMN). Effective immediately, VMN will consist of four brand groups:
- Comedy Central, Paramount Network and TV Land
- MTV, VH1, CMT and Logo
- BET Networks
The new structure will streamline VMN’s operations, enhancing the ability of Viacom’s network teams to coordinate scheduling and programming, share production and other resources, and leverage important talent relationships.
The Comedy Central, Paramount Network and TV Land group will be led by Kent Alterman, President, and Chris McCarthy will expand his current role of President of MTV, VH1 and Logo to now include CMT. Alterman and McCarthy will continue to report to CEO Bob Bakish. There are no changes to BET Networks or Nickelodeon.
“These changes mark the next step in the ongoing evolution of our company as we continue to ensure we’re making the most of our great assets and resources, and operating as nimbly and efficiently as we can,” said Bakish. “Comedy Central, Paramount Network and TV Land share an original content strategy anchored in scripted programming, and CMT – with its deep roots in music and unscripted programming – is a natural partner for MTV and VH1. Kent and Chris have been driving forces behind Viacom’s flagship strategy, re-energizing and growing two of our most iconic brands, and I can’t wait to see what they do next.”
With these changes, Kevin Kay will step down as President, Paramount Network, TV Land and CMT after a transition period. Kay’s achievements during his tenure at Viacom include overseeing a string of hits for Nickelodeon, such as All That, Kenan & Kel and The Adventures of Pete & Pete, as well as developing and greenlighting SpongeBob SquarePants. During his tenure at Spike, he oversaw the launch of fan-favorites like The Ultimate Fighter, Lip Sync Battle, Bar Rescue and Ink Master, as well as the expansion of Bellator.
More recently, Kay and his team successfully launched Paramount Network in January 2018. Paramount Network has achieved early critical and ratings success through the cinematic original series Waco and Yellowstone, the latter of which is the second-most-watched cable series of 2018. In addition, since Kay gained oversight of TV Land and CMT in 2017, the networks have continued to grow their devoted audiences through acclaimed original series such as Younger, Teachers and CMT Crossroads.
“Over the course of his career at Viacom, Kevin’s creative vision and gift for telling great stories have made a lasting impact,” Bakish added. “Thanks to the efforts of Kevin and his team, we have successfully established Paramount Network as a home for premium content, and TV Land and CMT continue to be dominant forces in the audiences they serve. I’m so grateful for the many contributions they have made in evolving and strengthening these world-class brands for their next chapter.”
Alterman has served as President of Comedy Central since 2016 after previously holding the position of President, Original Programming at the network. Since his return to Comedy Central in 2010, Alterman has prioritized attracting and nurturing top comedic talent, launching with his team some of the most-acclaimed comedies across the past decade, including Emmy Award-winning series such as Inside Amy Schumer, Key & Peele, Broad City, Drunk History and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. Under his leadership, Comedy Central has greatly extended the brand across new platforms and experiences, including the launch of a global podcast network and a 24-hour satellite radio station, along with Clusterfest, a three-day comedy and music festival. Bucking industry trends, Comedy Central was one of only three Top 20 networks to maintain or grow ratings among Adults 18-49 across the recently-concluded fiscal year and has maintained or grown share for 18 consecutive months. Comedy Central streamed nearly 4.7 billion videos across digital and social platforms in FY2018, a year-over-year increase of +63%.
McCarthy was elevated to President of MTV, VH1 and Logo in October 2016 after serving as President of VH1 and Logo. In his tenure, MTV now is the fastest growing network in cable and number one with its 18-34 audience, while VH1 is riding three consecutive years of ratings growth. Together MTV and VH1 boast 19 of the top 25 unscripted series on cable. At MTV, McCarthy has engineered the network’s longest streak of ratings growth in seven years with new hits like Siesta Key and Ex on the Beach, and reimagined iconic franchises like Jersey Shore and Floribama Shore. Under his leadership, MTV has built its social footprint to more than 350 million followers and doubled video streams in 2018, while launching the transformative MTV Studios initiative to develop original series for partners across SVOD and premium TV. McCarthy is the recipient of multiple Emmys and a Peabody Award.
Viacom is home to premier global media brands that create compelling entertainment content – including television programs, motion pictures, short-form content, games, consumer products, podcasts, live events and social media experiences – for audiences in 183 countries. Viacom's media networks, including Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., MTV, BET, Comedy Central, Paramount Network, VH1, TV Land, CMT, Logo, Channel 5 (UK), Telefe (Argentina), Colors (India) and Paramount Channel, reach approximately 4.3 billion cumulative television subscribers worldwide. Paramount Pictures is a major global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment. Paramount Television develops, finances and produces original programming for television and digital platforms.