Comedy Central Taps Tanya Giles as GM

Exec replaces the departing Dave Bernath
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Longtime Comedy Central general manager Dave Bernath is leaving the company to be replaced by Viacom veteran Tanya Giles, the network announced Tuesday.

Bernath will leave Comedy Central March 15 after 12 years at the network, according to Comedy Central President Kent Alterman. As the network’s new general manager, Giles will oversee the day-to-day operations of the network with direct oversight of brand strategy, marketing, programming and digital/social strategy, said network officials. 

Giles previously served as executive vice president of strategic insight and research for Viacom Media Networks’ Music & Entertainment Group and BET Networks. Giles joined Viacom in 1997 as a Senior Analyst at Nickelodeon, where she supported the brand on both qualitative and quantitative research efforts, according to the company. 

An internal company memo from Alterman about the moves appears below:

Today brings very mixed news to Comedy Central. Dave Bernath will be leaving the company, and Tanya Giles will be stepping into the role of General Manager, effective immediately. Dave’s last day will be March 15, and he will be available to us all to ensure a smooth transition.

Over his 12 years here, Dave has been a major contributor to our brand. He approaches everything with a level of intelligence and conviction that is unparalleled. He played a key role in the evolution of Comedy Central from a basic cable channel into the #1 brand in comedy across all platforms. He also took responsibility for oversight of our franchise cross teams, and we’ve been reaping the benefits of this process for some time. Comedy Central is a much different place today than when Dave began and I am thankful for all his efforts, especially over the past year as we embarked on a new era. I wish him the very best in his future endeavors.

As have many of you, I’ve been working with Tanya for years and have been continuously impressed with how smart, strategic and collaborative she is. Her skills and expertise transcend the official roles in which she’s served. During her nearly 20 years under the Viacom umbrella, she has worked with virtually every brand in the house, beginning at Nickelodeon, moving on to TV Land, and most recently, the Music & Entertainment Group and BET Networks.

Through each stop in her journey, Tanya has earned the respect of senior leaders across the organization. Her deep knowledge of industry trends and expertise in fan behavior, specifically millennials who form the core of our audience, are well recognized throughout the industry and will be a great asset to Comedy Central. More than anyone I know, Tanya has a deep and substantial understanding of not only our audience, but also how they connect to our talent and content. She brings invaluable expertise to our table.

As our new GM, Tanya will report to me and lead the day-to-day strategy and operations of the brand, with direct oversight of Brand Strategy, Marketing, Programming, and Digital/Social Strategy. She will also liaise closely with the Global Entertainment Group’s Marketing & Partner Solutions, Content Distribution, Strategic Insights & Research, Strategy & Business Development, Finance, Business & Legal Affairs, and Human Resources teams.

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