Named COO of MTV Networks Ad Sales

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NEW YORK ( -- Comedy Central's former president, Larry Divney, will return to the Viacom fold as chief operating officer of advertising sales for MTV Networks, according to the company.

The position had held been held by Mark Rosenthal before his exit earlier this year following senior management changes at the company.

MTV's first sales head
Mr. Divney retired as president of Comedy Central, which is owned by Viacom, this past June and reluctantly made what was believed to have been his final ad-sales presentation for the company just this spring. Mr. Divney, a popular figure in the cable industry, was MTV's first vice president of advertising sales at when the music video network launched in 1981.

A statement issued by MTV Networks' chairman-CEO, Judy McGrath, said, "We're bringing him back to his advertising sales roots ... and aside from the fact that we really missed him, I think he realized that farming is way over-rated."

New MTV Networks president
In other changes, Ms. McGrath also appointed Van Toffler as her successor as MTV Networks president. Mr. Toffler was president of MTV, MTV2 and MTV Films. He will now also take over VH1, CMT and the soon to launch Logo as part of his responsibilities.

Separately, Brian Graden, also a contender for Mr. Toffler's new role, has been named president of Logo and president of entertainment for MTV Networks Music Group. Mr. Graden was most recently president of entertainment for MTV and VH1.

Separately, one of Mr. Divney's close colleagues, Bill Hilary, who resigned as vice president and general manager of Comedy Central this summer, was named president of BBC America on Oct. 4. He begins his new position effective immediately.

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