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Comedy Central taps Levitt for EVP

Exec to head strategic and creative brand development

Comedy Central has tapped Walter Levitt to be exec VP of marketing.

Levitt will handle the net’s strategic and creative brand development and report to net topper Michele Ganeless at Comedy Central’s Gotham offices.

Ganeless observed that Levitt’s work at Canadian media company Canwest had demonstrated his ability to build “consistent brand messaging across multiple screens.” Ganeless also expressed relief that Levitt appears to hold “no animosity towards the network that helped coin the phrase ‘Blame Canada.’ ”

“On behalf of all the citizens of Canada, I hereby officially pardon the network for that whole ‘Blame Canada’ thing,” Levitt responded.

“It’s a great time to step in, because some of the branding work has been done,” Levitt told Variety (Comedy Central unveiled a new logo in December). “But building a media brand is about managing that work on an ongoing basis.”

Levitt leaves a much broader position at Canwest, where he oversaw all aspects of promotion for the company’s portfolio of TV nets and digital brands, as well as some distribution work. Levitt’s achievements there include the launches on Canadian TV of “Glee” and “Prison Break” and the negotiation of a key VOD agreement with Rogers Cable.

“One has to do different things in one’s career, I think,” he said of the switch to pure marketing.

Comedy Central has been searching for a head of marketing since Peter Risafi left in 2010.