Days after the departure of Van Toffler from the top spot of its music-related television and web properties, Viacom president and CEO Philippe Dauman sent a memo to his vast network of employees this morning laying out a massive organizational and managerial shift.
The change will form two new organizations; the Viacom Music and Entertainment Group, which will be the umbrella around MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, Spike and LOGO, as well as their respective web presences. That group will headed by Viacom Entertainment Group president Doug Herzog, previously a president of MTV before leaving Viacom to serve as president of entertainment for Fox and president of USA Network. "[Doug] understands what it takes to stay relevant and on the leading edge of popular culture, and under his leadership, Comedy Central, Spike and TV Land have established distinctive programming voices in the entertainment landscape," writes Dauman.
The second organization will be the Viacom Kids and Family Group, which will be formed around Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., TeenNick, Nick at Nite, NickMom, NickToons, TV Land, CMT and CMT Pure Country. That arm will be run by Cyma Zarghami, who has spent 30 years at Nickelodeon.
Debi Lee will continue to lead BET Networks and will report directly to Dauman.
The timetable for the change, excluding TV Land's jump, will be mid-April, to coincide with Toffler's exit.
"Our industry is in transition and change does not always come easy," writes Dauman, "but we have a tremendous amount of talent at Viacom and we are innovating at every level and at every brand. 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."