After a short respite, the executive turnover at Nickelodeon has resumed.
Nickelodeon content development prexy Marjorie Cohn is ankling the cabler, while the position of Nickelodeon Prods. exec veep Alison Dexter has been eliminated.
The news comes eight months after Russell Hicks was promoted to president of content development and production for the Nickelodeon Group. At that time, Nick animation prexy Brown Johnson parted ways with the network.
Cohn’s direct reports will now report to Hicks, who has restructured the production management group of Nick’s animation studio.
The changes come as part of Nick’s continued efforts at revival after having taken hits from Disney in the kids TV space. Nickelodeon’s first-quarter viewership this year showed a 7% year-over-year improvement, thanks to a 22% rally in March.
“Russell has been evaluating our needs and our structure to ensure we are well-positioned to succeed now and in the future,” Nickelodeon Group prexy Cyma Zarghami said in a statement. “He has injected new life and excitement into our animation studio, and has been developing new ways to attract the most creative people and give them the freedom to develop great content for all platforms.
“Russell and Margie Cohn have spent the last few months creating an exciting development strategy and roadmap for our future. Today, more than ever, the West Coast is the home base of our creative community and day-to-day headquarters for the majority of our productions, and after many years of service to Nickelodeon, Margie has made the decision to leave the company.”
Like Johnson, Cohn’s involvement with Nickelodeon dates back to its early days, having spent more than two decades with the cabler after beginning her career there as a unit manager.
“I’ve been lucky to work with Margie for many years,” Zarghami said. “She has been a passionate advocate for our brand, our creative partners, her team and our audience. She loves to make kids laugh, and leaves a rich legacy of having done so time and time again. I can’t thank her enough for her contributions to Nickelodeon.”
Zarghami explained Dexter’s departure as the result of “realigning the production groups to report directly to the executives for live action and animation,” eliminating the need for a centralized senior role in production management.
“Alison has built our best-in-class production team across genres, for preschoolers and new technologies,” Zarghami said. “She has put an incredible team in place with expansive expertise.
“I believe Russell’s vision for managing our creative teams allows us to build upon the momentum we have now, and provides us with a structure that ensures our success for years to come. Change is never easy. Both Margie and Alison have made incredible and lasting contributions to Nickelodeon over the years, and I know you join me in wishing them both all the best.”