Jones started at Viacom in 1988, and rose through the ranks to exec vice president and general manager before becoming president. The exec both helped launch TV Land and launched its push into original scripted series in 2009.
On Tuesday, it was revealed that Toffler was to leave Viacom from his post as president of the division that includes MTV, VH1, CMT and Logo in April to start a new venture as an independent producer.
The overhaul at Viacom comes in the wake of comments from CEO Philippe Dauman on the company’s Jan. 29 earnings call that a restructuring is imminent that might include layoffs. There’s rumblings of a broader realignment of some of the channels in Viacom’s MTV Networks group, and chatter that TV Land might move back into the Nickelodeon group fold. Reps for Viacom declined comment late Wednesday.
Despite the uncertainty, Jones’ departure took TV Land insiders by surprise. The exec just made a presentation to journos at the Television Critics Assn. press tour last month, talking up the change in the tone of the cabler’s original sitcoms from broad multi-camera entries to edgier single-camera fare such as the latest from Darren Star, “Younger.” That show bows March 31.
Read Jones’ internal memo below:
To My TV Land Family,
It’s truly not an overstatement to say that I have loved every second of being at TV Land for the past 18 years as part of my 27 years with Viacom. With that said, due to the restructuring, I will be stepping down from my role with the company.
I am so proud of the work we have accomplished over the years and especially excited about the new initiatives we have coming up on TV Land. The channel is on the verge of amazing things and I’m constantly impressed by the team of people who have worked tirelessly to make it all happen. This has been so much more than a job to me and as I have often said to all of you, I always felt we were on a mission… a mission to be successful, to be creative and to make something that we could all be unapologetically proud of each and every day. It’s that mission that made it so easy to come to “work” everyday and be with all of you and for that, I thank you.
I am so happy to have been a part of the great legacy of this network. The great thing about television and all the platforms we now exist on is that I will be able to watch you every step of the way as you continue on the mission…
The news was first reported by the Hollywood Reporter.