Herb Scannell Resigns as Division Reorganized

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NEW YORK ( -- Twenty-year MTV veteran Herb Scannell has resigned from MTV Networks, the Viacom-owned company announced today. Mr. Scannell, who was vice-chairman of MTV Networks and president of Nickelodeon, left to “pursue other business opportunities,” according to a company statement.
Photo: Nickelodeon
Herb Scannell

Mr. Scannell was responsible for Nickelodeon’s TV and film divisions as well as its $4 billion consumer products business. He launched new channels such as Noggin, The N, Nicktoons and Nick Games and Sports and was responsible for the transformation of TNN to Spike TV and TV Land’s spin-off from Nick at Night.

With Mr. Scannell’s departure, MTV Networks is restructuring its Nickelodeon management, promoting Nickelodeon Television President Cyma Zarghami to lead a newly formed MTV Networks Kids and Family Group, which includes Nickelodeon and its stable of smaller cable networks, Nick at Night and Nickelodeon’s magazine and digital businesses.

Instead of falling under the Nickelodeon umbrella as it previously has, TV Land will be grouped with Spike TV and Comedy Central under Doug Herzog. The separation of Nick at Nite and TV Land reverses a move made in late 2001 that combined the two networks. TV Land President Larry Jones will lead both TV Land and Nick at Nite, reporting to Mr. Herzog and Ms. Zarghami.

Photo: Todd France/Nickelodeon
Cyma Zarghami

At one point, Mr. Scannell was one of several candidates rumored to succeed Tom Freston as chairman-CEO of MTV Networks after Mr. Freston was elevated to co-chief operating officer of Viacom in the summer 2004. Judy McGrath, who had been the group president of Viacom's MTV Networks, was named to the job.

Mark Rosenthal, another candidate for the top MTV gig, left his post as president and chief operating officer of MTV Networks shortly after Ms. McGrath’s promotion. In May, Mr. Rosenthal, who had been the chief contact for advertisers at MTV, joined Interpublic Group of Cos. to turn around its troubled media operations.

The cable networks are now part of the company known as Viacom under Mr. Freston. Viacom officially split into two units and began trading as separate stocks, Viacom and CBS Corp., yesterday.

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