Judy McGrath is stepping down as the chairman and CEO of MTV Networks and no successor will be named, Viacom Inc. announced Thursday.
McGrath started with MTV as a copywriter in 1981. With her departure, the executives in charge of MTV Networks' operating units will report to Viacom president and CEO Philippe Dauman. They include Doug Herzog, president of MTVN Entertainment Group; Van Toffler, president of MTVN Music & Logo Group; and Cyma Zarghami, president of Nickelodeon & MTVN Kids & Family Group.
McGrath held several positions at MTV Networks since the launch of MTV in 1981.
McGrath helped lead MTVN brands including MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, TV Land, VH1, CMT and Spike. Among the programs she championed were Nickelodeon's worldwide "Let's Just Play," mtvU's "Darfur is Dying," MTV's Peabody Award-winning "Choose or Lose" and Emmy award-winning "Fight For Your Rights" campaigns, and the "Hope For Haiti" telethon.
"The people of MTV Networks have always been singularly important to me," McGrath said in a statement. "I leave with pride, joy and gratitude for the ride of a lifetime. I especially thank my friends and colleagues on the senior team, who will continue to lead a kick-ass organization. They have my respect and affection, always."
Added Dauman, "Judy has long been the creative heart and inspiring soul of MTV Networks and has deservedly been associated with so much of the great entertainment, cultural relevance, social significance and business success that have defined our media networks over the years. Her positive and passionate spirit has helped create an organization that is recognized for truly listening to its audiences, not only about their entertainment choices, but also about the social issues and the causes that matter to them most."