Nickelodeon prez Herb Scannell quits

MTV Networks vice chairman and Nickelodeon Networks president Herb Scannell has put in his papers at the company to pursue other business opportunities. In conjunction with Scannell’s departure, MTV Networks also announced a management restructuring of Nickelodeon Networks. MTV Networks chairman and CEO Judy McGrath said, “Herb and I have worked together for nearly two decades, and I’ve appreciated him as a creative and strategic thinker and, most importantly, as a friend. He has guided Nickelodeon Networks to an unrivaled leadership position and has broadened its businesses to engage viewers beyond the TV screen in licensing, movies, recreation and much more. He is a true innovator, and he is leaving a great legacy for our company and the industry.” Scannell added, “After nearly 20 years with MTV Networks and Nickelodeon, I felt this was the right time to move to the next leadership position in my career. I have great faith in the management teams in place at Nickelodeon, TV Land and Spike TV, and am confident that these networks will continue their outstanding performance and maintain the extraordinary bonds with their audiences that have made them so successful. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to lead such an exceptional team, which has built some of the strongest brands in our business.” Scannell led Nick to 10 straight years as the number one cable network (US) and expanded business into consumer products, movies and digital media. He was instrumental in building a vibrant consumer products division, growing it from $100 million in retail sales to what is now the third largest licensing company in the world, with over $4 billion in retail revenues in 2005. Also during Scannell’s tenure, Nickelodeon opened a new animation studio in Burbank, CA; launched its feature film division, which has released 14 movies grossing over $1 billion and netting Academy Award nominations; launched Noggin/The N, Nicktoons and Nick GAS channels; and most recently positioned Nickelodeon as the kids online leader with the launch of its TurboNick broadband platform and the acquisition of Neopets. Cyma Zarghami to lead MTVN Kids and Family Group Under the restructuring, Nickelodeon Television president Cyma Zarghami will assume leadership of a newly formed MTVN Kids and Family group, which will include Nickelodeon Television, Nick at Nite, Nick Online, Nick Movies, Noggin/The N, Nicktoons Television, Nickelodeon Games and Sports (Nick GAS), as well as Nickelodeon’s magazine and recreation divisions and Nickelodeon’s new digital businesses, including Neopets. Additionally, TV Land, which previously operated under the Nickelodeon Networks brand, will join Spike TV and Comedy Central under president Doug Herzog, with TV Land president Larry Jones reporting into Herzog. Jones will continue to lead Nick at Nite with a dual report into Zarghami. “Cyma’s creativity, vision, passion for her audience and incomparable track record make her the best person to lead our Kids and Family group. She has consistently proven herself to have the foresight, management expertise and consumer expertise we’ll need to continue our strong momentum at the Nickelodeon networks and take them to the next level of multiplatform success,” said McGrath. “Having worked with Cyma throughout her career at Nick, I am happy and proud that Cyma will be carrying Nick forward to its next era of success,” said Scannell. “What has made Nickelodeon successful, in addition to an extraordinary team of people, is the notion that Nickelodeon’s brand is greater than the sum of its parts. It will be the coordination of all our parts that will allow us to take kids and family entertainment to the next level and bring our great content to all distribution platforms. It is an exciting time for the Nickelodeon brand, and we are well positioned to go everywhere our audience goes,” Zarghami said. “It has been an absolute pleasure and a privilege to have worked with Herb over the years, and I will miss his creative and strategic thinking. I’m sure his next endeavor will also be a great success,” she added.

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