By Manori Ravindran
Viacom is restructuring its three domestic network groups - MTV Networks Music & Logo Group, Media Networks Entertainment Group and Kids & Family Group – into two organizations under separate leadership.
In a company-wide letter, Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman outlined the formation of Viacom Music and Entertainment Group, led by Doug Herzog (pictured, left), and the expanded Viacom Kids and Family Group, helmed by Cyma Zarghami (right).
“The new groups are an enormous opportunity for us to take advantage of our strong creative teams, to share our expertise and to promote greater cross-marketing and, in some cases, cross-channel programming activity,” said Dauman in the memo.
The restructuring comes just days after Van Toffler, president of Viacom’s MTV Networks Music and Logo Group and a 28-year veteran of the company, said he would be leaving to form his own content production and acquisitions company. In addition, TV Land president Larry Jones announced his departure from Viacom after 27 years on February 19.
The Viacom Kids and Family Group will be comprised of Nickelodeon Group brands, including Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., TeenNick, Nick at Nite, NickMom and NickToons. TV Land, CMT and CMT Pure Country will also be integrated into the group.
The division will be led by Zarghami, who most recently served as president of Nickelodeon Networks Group. She joined Nickelodeon in 1985, and was named GM of the company in 1996 before becoming group president in 2006.
Elsewhere, Viacom Music and Entertainment Group will house MTV, MTV2, Logo, VH1, Comedy Central and Spike, as well as related digital networks and MTV’s “Always On” platform.
Both Herzog and Zarghami will continue to report to Dauman. Meanwhile, TV Land will be folded into the Viacom Kids and Family Group immediately, while the other nets are to transition between February and mid-April, when Toffler is expected to exit the company.
Further information and “specific organizational changes” are to become available in the coming weeks.
“We are working hard to adapt to changing audience behavior, to incorporate new forms of distribution and to better integrate technology into everything we do,” said Dauman.
“That includes our expanded data and research capabilities; our multi-platform, multi-distributor approach; our groundbreaking advertising sales units, Velocity and Echo; and our new central hub for digital research and development, The Viacom Lab,” the exec added.