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Zarghami named Nick TV prez

18-year vet upped from exec VP to newly created role

Cyma Zarghami has ascended to the presidency of Nickelodeon Television.

Title was newly created for Zarghami, an 18-year vet of the net who has been exec VP and general manager since 1996. In this new role, she will oversee all of Nick’s TV businesses.

Zarghami will continue to head up production and development for Nick’s TV arms, along with marketing, programming and creative. Already in charge of Nickelodeon Games & Sports (GAS) and Nicktoons, she also will run Noggin/The N.

“Cyma Zarghami is a tremendous leader and strategist who literally grew up at Nickelodeon and has exhibited her prowess as a programmer time and time again, as proven by the channel’s ratings performance,” said Herb Scannell, MTVN Group president and prexy of Nickelodeon Networks. “She embodies the heart and soul of Nickelodeon and always finds a way to know what kids want before anyone else does.”

Zarghami will continue to report to Scannell.

A prodigious trend-spotter, she introduced key programming concepts, including making kids shows available to kids when broadcast networks are not serving them.

“I watch kids all the time, and I have some of my own,” Zarghami told Daily Variety. “There is such a thing as kids buzz, and a way of knowing if you’re listening.”

During Zarghami’s tenure, Nick has maintained its position as the highest-rated basic cable network in total-day ratings for eight years and it continues to dominate the Saturday ayem landscape. Cabler is home to 46 of the top 50 kiddie shows on television, including “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “The Fairly OddParents” and “Dora the Explorer.”

Zarghami most recently launched “Rugrats” spinoff “All Grown Up,” which grabbed the highest debut numbers in Nick’s history.

Zarghami, whose career at Nick began in 1986, played a role in the launches of Nickelodeon U.K. in 1993 and Nick at Nite’s TV Land in 1996.

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