MTV duo getting vice chair stripes

Viacom cabler promotes Scannell, Roedy

MTV Networks chair-CEO Judy McGrath has awarded vice-chairman stripes to Herb Scannell and Bill Roedy, her top lieutenants, adding more responsibilities to their already bulging portfolios.

Scannell and Roedy will continue to report to McGrath, who has decided not to replace Mark Rosenthal, who ankled his post as president-chief operating officer of MTV Networks when the company elevated McGrath over him last summer.

Scannell, as vice chairman of MTV Networks and prexy of Nickelodeon Networks, will take on a big chunk of Rosenthal’s former duties, including business development, human resources, legal/business affairs, information services/technology and creative services.

The rest of Rosenthal’s duties will go to McGrath. MTVN head of affiliate sales and marketing Nicole Browning, ad sales prexy Larry Divney and chief financial officer John Cucci will now all report to McGrath.

The networks assigned to Scannell won’t change; they include Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, TV Land, Noggin/the N and Spike TV. But McGrath said the company is developing more domestic digital-cable nets and video-on-demand platforms that will “serve emerging and specialized audiences,” all under Scannell’s aegis. MTV has provided no details of these programming concepts, but McGrath acknowledged that a web devoted to standup comedy is on the drawing boards.

Roedy, in his dual role as vice chairman of MTV Networks and president of MTV Networks Intl., will continue to manage the business of the international division. The London-based exec has presided over an operation that, according to MTV, distributes more uniquely programmed nets and Web sites globally than any other entertainment company, reaching about a billion people.

The 100 networks Roedy supervises appear on cable, satellite and over-the-air. MTV keeps making more of its programming available internationally to Web sites, personal computers, cell phones and personal digital assistants; the company is preparing to program these same multimedia platforms when they gain more subscribers in the U.S. McGrath said she can’t wait to produce “mobisodes,” short films created for exclusive use on mobile phones.

Roedy has added to the MTV, Nickelodeon and VH1 brands outside the U.S. by purchasing the German music network Viva and the French company TMF: The Music Factory. He has also developed Game One, an interactive videogame service, and Paramount Comedy, a 24/7 network that draws on Par’s library of movies and sitcoms.

As part of his duties, Roedy spearheads Viacom’s charitable campaigns, the goals of which include helping AIDS victims and people left homeless by the recent Asian tsunami.

Scannell presides over a licensing/merchandising empire that has propelled Nickelodeon to a rarefied status as the second most profitable cable network in the U.S., next to ESPN. Scannell will also continue to run two overseas operations: Paramount parks and Viacom consumer products.

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