End of an era at Viacom with Doug Herzog, president of the Music and Entertainment Group, set to step down next month. “It all started innocently enough in 1984 when I was just 25. I arrived at the midtown MTV offices very early one September morning only to find the lobby completely dark. Not one light on and not a soul there. Thankfully Judy McGrath arrived soon after the lights went on and showed me to my office,” Herzog wrote in a memo Wed. He recalled some of the highlights along the way—from the discovery of Jon Stewart in an MTV conference room during a game show run-through to Comedy Central unwittingly roasting future president Donald Trump in 2011. “It was a helluva run, and I would wish it on anyone. I loved every minute of it,” Herzog said. His last day is Jan 12. Reuters first reported the news Wed. Herzog rose to pres, Comedy Central in 1995 and left for a few years for Fox Broadcasting and USA, before rejoining Viacom in 2004 to head the Entertainment Group. “Doug gives a lot of credit below … luck, but let’s be honest—no one is that lucky. Doug made his own luck by being extremely good,” Viacom CEO Bob Bakish said. “He’s got sharp creative insight, a great eye for talent, and he inspires loyalty and adoration in his people. He’s also the funniest guy in pretty much any room and, above all, he’s an incredible human being.”

It’s just another big change for Viacom, which is in the midst of an overhaul that saw Bakish, formerly head of intl business, appointed as permanent CEO earlier this month. Longtime distribution exec Denise Denson also has left the company. Herzog didn’t directly comment on the seismic shifts at Viacom, which have included the contemplation and eventual nixing of a CBS merger as well as the ratings/talent losses for MTV and Comedy Central. But he did talk about the future, saying the company is well positioned “to return where, once more, it will be the envy of its peers.”

The Daily


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