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The End of An Era: Judy McGrath Exits as MTV CEO

by Melissa Silverstein
May 6, 2011 2:50 AM
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Judy McGrath has been with MTV practically since its inception, and yesterday, after 30 years she abruptly resigned as the chairwoman and chief executive of MTV Networks. I can't remember a time when McGrath didn't set the tone at MTV which in turn set the tone for two generations of pop culture and music on TV. The network was much more influential back in the day when there were not as many cable choice. But it has smartly morphed in recent years to include hit reality and scripted shows. And while music may take a back seat nowadays, the MTV brand remains strong and one big reason was the steady leadership and dedication of McGrath.

It is reported in the Hollywood Reporter that McGrath did not like a new show about a girl band The Electric Barbarellas which premiered the night before her resignation and was championed by Summer Redstone the head of Viacom.

The loss of McGrath is profound in terms of female leadership - she was one of the most powerful women in the entertainment business and has been for years. She was number 10 on this year's Hollywood Reporter List of the Most Powerful Women in Hollywood. McGrath's job will now be eliminated and the three people who reported to her will now report to Philippe Dauman the President of Viacom.

Here's a quote from an executive who worked with her that appeared in the NY Times:

She is the most talent-friendly, creative, content-oriented executive I know...Judy was the heart and soul, the spirit and the internal organs of that place.

This really is an end of an era.

Head of MTV Networks Resigns Abruptly (NY Times)

What Judy McGrath Meant to MTV Networks (Analysis) (Hollywood Reporter)

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  • Alessandro Machi | May 8, 2011 9:49 AMReply

    So McGrath wasn't fired for IGNORING her own country's massive tornado destruction and continued airing shows like Audrina, Made, and Mobster's Wives, even as Tornados the likes of which had not been seen in over 80 years, ravaged many states and KILLED several hundred people, but she did quit over a new show about an all girl band.

    Does the narcissism ever stop expanding?

  • Alessandro Machi | May 8, 2011 9:35 AMReply

    Unfortunately, being on "auto-pilot" when the worst tornado's in the past 80 years devastates several states in the United States, and your channel is showing Audrina, Mobster's wives, and Made, is beyond incomprehensible.

    Especially when MTV tries to grab the mantle for lecturing everybody on global issues. I outed MTV over their huge inconsistency back on April 28th, 2011 on my wall street change blog.

  • Jill Kennedy | May 6, 2011 8:52 AMReply

    Manka Bros.has offered her a job - doing whatever she wants.

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