Amazon.com said it has named former MTV Networks chairman and CEO Judy McGrath to its board of directors, a move that could help boost the online retailer’s Internet video offerings.
McGrath was one of the architects of the youth-oriented network, joining MTV in 1981 as a copywriter after a stint at Conde Nast and rising to president in 1994. She became chairman and CEO of MTV Networks – which includes MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1, Comedy Central, TV Land, CMT and Spike – in 2004 replacing her mentor Tom Freston after he was promoted to co-chief operating officer of MTV’s parent, Viacom. McGrath stepped down in May 2011. Freston resigned in 2006.
Most recently, McGrath has served as president of Astronauts Wanted * No Experience Necessary, a partnership with Sony Music Entertainment that develops multimedia content for millennials, since 2013.
Amazon said it has also appointed McGrath to the board’s Leadership Development and Compensation Committee, effective Oct. 1 and has granted her a restricted stock unit award of about 2,520 shares, vesting in three installments beginning on Aug, 15, 2015.
McGrath’s experience in the television business is expected to be a boost to Amazon’s fledgling subscription video service, which offers members access to thousands of hours of movies and television episodes and earlier this year reached a deal to stream HBO content. Through its Amazon Studios, the online giant is producing its own original content like Alpha House, a comedy starring John Goodman; Betas, a Silicon Valley based comedy; and two kids’ series – Tumble Leaf and Annedroids.