TV One CEO Johnathan Rodgers will retire in July after a 45-year career in the media business, the network announced Monday.
Rodgers, who oversaw the 2004 launch of the Radio One/Comcast Cable-owned African-American network and has served as its only CEO, will leave TV One effective July 31, said network officials. A replacement for Rodgers has yet to be named.
"Running TV One has been an honor, a privilege and a labor of love for me," said Rodgers in a statement. "I was able to bring all my experiences from my previous jobs to help create this wonderful network. I want to thank [Comcast CEO] Brian Roberts and Comcast for their support, and especially [Radio One CEO] Alfred Liggins for his vision in creating and funding TV One and for allowing me to run it for the past seven years. There could have been no better way to cap off a long and satisfying career in the television business for me than to help build a sustainable channel that African American adults, indeed all Americans can be very proud of."
Under his leadership over the last seven years, the 53-subscriber network has generated successive viewership records over the past three years. The network, the second largest African-American targeted network behind BET, turned a profit after five years under Rodgers' watch.
"Having Johnathan as a friend and partner in TV One has been a real honor," said Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast Corporation in a statement. "We knew we were in good hands from the beginning of our relationship, with Johnathan's industry knowledge, experience and strategic skills and Alfred Liggins' solid business plan."
Added Liggins: "When I realized that there was a business opportunity for launching a black cable channel nearly a decade ago, Quincy Jones told me there was only one person I should pursue to develop the channel, and that was Johnathan Rodgers. That was great advice, and Johnathan's involvement in TV One has been invaluable in its success on so many different levels. He is leaving the network on very solid footing for the future."
Prior to TV One, Rodgers served as president of Discovery Communications, overseeing the
successful launches of Animal Planet, Discovery Kids and Discovery Health, as well as the conversion of The Learning Channel into TLC.
Rodgers, who began his media career as a writer-reporter for Sports Illustrated in 1967, also served as president of CBS Television Station Group.