Dauman Tightens Reins at MTV Networks

With McGrath out, execs now report directly to him

Now that former MTV Networks head Judy McGrath is out of the picture, Viacom chief Philippe Dauman is tightening his hold on the company’s cable networks division, the New York Post reports.

Viacom has said that he has no plans to replace McGrath, and that executives in charge of MTV Networks’ divisions (which include MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, and Comedy Central) who had been under McGrath in the corporate hierarchy will now report directly to Dauman, and according to a Post source, the restructured networks branch will be named Viacom Networks.

According the the Post, Dauman sees McGrath’s exit as a chance to assert his authority over the cable unit, "which has lived up to MTV's rebellious youthful image by cultivating a high degree of autonomy from its corporate parent." MTV Networks has long functioned as a corporate entity separate from the rest of Viacom, with its own finance, legal, and HR execs.

McGrath was a popular figure—especially with advertisers—but many considered her departure "almost inevitable." A source said that McGrath's contract renewal negotiations with Dauman weren't going smoothly. The source added that Dauman had been taking an increasingly active role in MTV Networks, and eventually, McGrath resigned herself to ceding control.