Kevin Kay to Exit Paramount Network, Kent Alterman to Add Channel to Oversight

Chris McCarthy adds oversight of CMT in company-wide restructuring

Kevin Kay Kent Alterman
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Comedy Central president Kevin Alterman will add oversight of Viacom’s Paramount Network in a company-wide restructuring that will see the departure of current Paramount Network president Kevin Kay.

Viacom is streamlining its brand groups from five to four, with the new structure looking like this:

  • Comedy Central, Paramount Network and TV Land
  • MTV, VH1, CMT and Logo
  • BET Networks
  • Nickelodeon

Alterman, while keeping his Comedy Central title, will take over duties for Paramount Network and TV Land from Kay, who will leave after a transition period. Chris McCarthy, already president of MTV, VH1 and Logo, will assume oversight of CMT, which had also been run by Kay. 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 Viacom CEO Bob 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.”

The executive change comes less than a year after Viacom rebranded Spike into the Paramount Network. Kay becomes the latest long-tenured Viacom exec, having been with the company for multiple decades beginning with Nickelodeon, where he oversaw and developed shows including “All That,” “Kenan & Kel,” “The Adventures of Pete & Pete,” and “SpongeBob SquarePants.” In June, Cyma Zarghami left as Nickelodeon Group president after more than 30 years with the company. Earlier this month, Viacom named AwesomenessTV co-founder Brian Robbins as the new president of Nickelodeon.

“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.”