Network promotes exec to president

Spike TV has named Kevin Kay as president. As exec VP-general manager for the past two years, he has guided the cabler to the ranks of the top-10 ad-supported nets in the three key adult categories.

Spike TV bills itself as the network for men, and Doug Herzog, president of the MTVN Entertainment Group, lauded Kay’s “numerous successes so far, including igniting the UFC phenomenon by launching ‘The Ultimate Fighter.'” Herzog called the series “a testament” to Kay’s foresight in creating brand-defining hit programming for guys.”

Kay reports to Herzog. Spike’s prexy post has remained vacant since December 2006, when Herzog received a promotion to the MTVN title.

Kay regards the one-hour “Ultimate Fighter” as a Spike signature show. The network is now scheduling its sixth 13-episode season of “Fighter,” and the seventh has already begun production under a contract that runs through the end of 2008 and covers nine seasons. Kay said he’s negotiating for a multiple-year extension.

Another solid performer under Kay’s aegis, “TNA Wrestling Impact,” regularly averages more than a million viewers since Spike expanded the primetime series to two hours on Thursdays.

As president, Kay will start riding herd over all original-series development, specials and sports programming. Also under his wing are marketing, corporate communications, research, on-air promotion, online initiatives and production operations.

Kay joined Spike in 2003 (when the network was called TNN) as exec VP of programming and production. Before Spike, Kay was exec VP of production and original-series development for three other Viacom nets: Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite and TV Land.

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