Viacom President Philippe Dauman found an unusual way to reward Judy McGrath, the CEO of Viacom’s money-spinning MTV Networks unit, said Bill Carter in The New York Times. He offered McGrath, whose “creative programming ideas” resulted in hit shows like Jersey Shore, The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, and SpongeBob SquarePants, a chance to stay on “in a less meaningful capacity.” McGrath, 58, resigned instead, ending her 30-year tenure at MTV to pursue other opportunities. Whispers inside MTV say the real reason McGrath left is that Dauman, whose $84.5 million pay package made him last year’s highest-paid executive, “wants to run the whole operation.”
McGrath is the last key holdover from the freewheeling era of MTV co-founder Tom Freston. The executives who worked alongside him were a bohemian lot—McGrath, for example, preferred jeans and Chuck Taylor sneakers to conventional business attire. Dauman, by contrast, favors tailored suits and starched collars. McGrath might find a more congenial home at the fledgling Oprah Winfrey Network, which is reportedly considering hiring her to replace CEO Christina Norman, who was ousted last week.