People/Biz

Van Toffler leaving Viacom after 28 years

The president of MTV Networks Music and Logo Group is departing to establish his own content creation and acquisition company.
February 17, 2015

Van Toffler, president of Viacom’s MTV Networks Music and Logo Group, is leaving his post in April to form his own content production and acquisition company.

The 28-year veteran of the company made his announcement on Tuesday (February 17) via an internal memo, in which he says the “platform agnostic” company has the “working title” of Below the Radar, “with details to come in the months ahead.”

In his position, Toffler oversaw MTV, MTV2, VH1, VH1 Classic, CMT, CMT Pure Country, Logo and their affiliated online services. He was named president of the group in 2004, after serving as president of MTV and MTV2 since 2000.

He first joined MTV in 1987 and has been with the youth-skewing network as it transitioned from a destination for music videos to a broader entertainment range, which incorporated such unscripted hits as The Real World and Jersey Shore, among others.

Toffler told staff in the memo that he would stay to transition the teams through to April, and would also stay on to oversee and executive produce the CMT Awards and MTV’s Video Music Awards.

“When Philippe [Dauman, Viacom CEO] approached me last year to continue leading the brands I adore until I aged into Bad Grandpa-like triple digits, I entered into a period of consternation and dare I say short bursts of deep thinking (don’t worry, very short and not that deep),” wrote Toffler. “And after at least a few whole minutes and many more meals than Philippe wanted to have with me, I realized at my core I needed to get back to my love of jumping off cliffs without knowing how/where I might land and making expectation defying content that boldly breaks through new boundaries.”

In his own internal memo to staff, Dauman said he would be announcing more concerning the transition later in the week.

“With Van here to help and the deep bench of talented people across our brands, I am confident we won’t miss a beat,” he added.

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.

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