Stephen Friedman

Title: President, MTV
Years in Cable: 16
Education: Wesleyan University
Best Advice in 7 Years or Less: “When people talk, listen completely.” – Hemingway

Cyma Zarghami

Title: President, Nickelodeon
Years in Cable: 29
Education: University of Vermont

Zarghami jokingly told the crowd at this year’s Nick Upfront, “I can hardly remember 2011-12.” And who can blame her? The network’s ratings comeback has been swift and sweeping, and its new slate of laughs-infused animation and live action—for TV, web and the growing posse of Nick apps—promises to continue the streak. Not to mention a bold new play in the sports arena with the launch of Kids Sports’ Choice awards in July. Over at MTV, Friedman and company twerked their way to the most-watched VMAs in recent history last fall. Continual brand reinvention is par for the course when you’re home to the millennial generation, and Friedman is firing on all platforms across the flagship network and sisters including MTV2 and Logo. MTV2 had its most-watched year in 2013, and the MTV app hit 2.2 million downloads in six months. Look for more originals to fuel growth, including new reality series “House of Food” and “Virgin Territory.”

Friedman

TV show I’d most like to have a cameo in? “Veep”

Frank Underwood or Nick Brody? Nick Brody

Desert island album? Sufjan Stevens’ Illinois

Favorite TV show as a kid? Reruns of the “George Burns & Gracie Allen Show.” Gracie was a pure comedic genius.

The last time I had a good laugh: This morning in my weekly with my boss, Van Toffler.

My favorite business/motivational book: Give and Take, by Adam Grant.

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