Viacom said it is moving CMT (formerly Country Music Television) and TV Land to its Global Entertainment Group, placing management responsibilities of the two networks under Kevin Kay, who will continue to run Spike.
The GEG, was formed last year and houses Viacom’s International Media Networks and its Music and Entertainment Group, which includes MTV, Comedy Central, Spike, VH1 and Logo.
CMT and TV Land were formerly part of the Kids & Family Group headed by Cyma Zarghami. Being housed under the new unit will “strengthen those brands across all audiences,” Viacom CEO Bob Bakish said in a memo to employees.
He added that having Zarghami’s “considerable focus and drive now centered on our important kids audience will keep Nickelodeon expanding its brand and business more than ever.”
Kay established his track record at Nickelodeon, where he developed some of the company’s biggest franchises, including SpongeBob Squarepants and Fairly OddParents. More recently, he has been a catalyst behind some of Spike’s biggest shows, like Emmy-nominated Lip Sync Battle, Ink Master, and Bar Rescue and brought live sports into the business with the acquisition of Bellator MMA.
“I'm looking forward to seeing Kevin bring that same creative vision to the strong teams and leadership he’s inheriting with CMT and TV Land,” Bakish said in the memo.