Doug Herzog, president of American media giant Viacom Music and Entertainment Group, is set to leave the post just weeks after Bob Bakish was formally appointed CEO and tasked with charting a new direction for the company.
Herzog confirmed his departure, effective Jan. 12, in an internal memo to staff, noting “Thus ends a 25 year professional journey, and wild ride spanning seven networks, four decades, three Daily Show hosts, over two separate tours of duty, and one joint venture.”
“It was a helluva run, and I would wish it on anyone. I loved every minute of it,” he said.
Herzog has been overseeing MTV, VH1, Logo TV, Comedy Central, Palladia, Spike, and Epix. He’s perhaps best known for developing MTV’s The Real World and Comedy Central’s The Daily Show.
He gave no immediate reason for the departure, but did note “the enormous change and disruption” dominating the media landscape and the world at large.
“I know it can be unsettling. But trust me, you should be excited and invigorated by it. Reinventing the brands and innovating with content are the great core strengths of this company. Bob (Bakish) is already bringing true leadership and vision to Viacom. He is a big believer in the power of these brands across all platforms. I promise you are in very good hands with him, as well as your tremendous brand leaders.”
News about changes at the top follows a number of staffing shake-ups at Viacom’s millennial-skewing music network MTV, including the October departure of Sean Atkins as president, and subsequent hiring of Chris McCarthy. Former executive VP of original programming Michael Klein also left MTV in November.
In another shift, earlier this month MTV announced the consolidation of their unscripted team with sister network VH1, after appointing Nina L. Diaz as head of unscripted at both networks in late November.