Viacom cable net restructuring: Herzog takes over MTV, VH1, Logo; Toffler and Jones out

Viacom announced a major restructuring of its cable network operations Thursday, consolidating three network groups into two, while placing one unit under the direction of Doug Herzog and the other under Cyma Zarghami.

Doug Herzog, Viacom Cyma Zarghami, Viacom

At left, Herzog; right, Zarghami. (Source: Viacom)

Out amid amid this process is Van Toffler, who departed earlier in the week after 28-year run as president of MTV Networks. Also leaving is TV Land chief Larry Jones, who had been with Viacom for 25 years.

Toffler is departing to launch his own production company. A Viacom spokesperson said Toffler turned down an offer from the conglomerate to renew his contract

The popular Herzog will now oversee the Viacom Music and Entertainment Group, adding MTV, VH-1 and Logo to a management portfolio that already included Comedy Central and Spike.

"The role is, in part, a coming home for Doug, who joined MTV in 1984 and rose to become president of MTV productions, and later, president of Comedy Central, where among his notable accomplishments, he launched The Daily Show and South Park," Viacom chief executive Philippe Dauman said in an email to employees, obtained by the Los Angeles Times, announcing the move.

Meanwhile, Nickelodeon chief Cyma Zarghami will add CMT and TV Land to her oversight. She'll run a new unit called the Viacom Kids and Family Group.

"The new groups are an enormous opportunity for us to take advantage of our strong creative teams, to share our expertise, and to promote greater cross marketing and, in some cases, cross channel programming activity," Dauman said in his email to staff.

Viacom is trying to reorient amid softening markets for audience ratings and ad sales, as well as a consolidating pay-TV operator landscape.

For more:
- read this Deadline Hollywood story
- read this Hollywood Reporter story
- read this Los Angeles Times story

Related links:
Viacom and Dish make deal: EPIX to run on Sling TV
DirecTV's York on Stewart/Colbert departures: 'Viacom has lost its two biggest tent poles'
Viacom to launch Nickelodeon SVOD service as its ad sales slide 6%

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