People/Biz

Cox to lead Paramount Network; Levy steps down at Spike

Less than a month after media conglomerate Viacom unveiled plans to rebrand its Spike channel to Paramount Network, the company has already begun to cement its executive team. It was announced ...
February 22, 2017

Less than a month after media conglomerate Viacom unveiled plans to rebrand its Spike channel to Paramount Network, the company has already begun to cement its executive team.

It was announced yesterday that Keith Cox has been elevated to the president, development and production for Viacom’s Paramount Network and TV Land.

In the new role, Cox will oversee the strategic development and production of all series for both TV Land and Paramount Network Spike channels’ new name, slated for early 2018 – which will feature scripted and non-scripted original programming.

As an executive producer at TV Land, Cox developed, produced and launched all of the channel’s current original scripted programming.

Prior to joining TV Land, he held the post of executive vice-president, comedy and alternative development at the WB Television Network, where he was responsible for all of the network’s half-hour and reality development of shows such as Ashton Kutcher’s Beauty and the Geek. He was also instrumental in developing the reality show Pop Stars 2.

Cox joined the WB in 2001 as senior vice-president, alternative programming at the WB.

Earlier, he worked at Greenblatt/Janollari as vice-president of comedy and drama development.

Cox began his career as director of programming at FX before joining Warner Brothers Television, where he developed several shows for NBC’s Thursday night line-up.

“Keith has done an incredible job in building TV Land’s slate of strong original scripted series over the last 10 years and reigniting the brand, and I’m thrilled to work with him as he continues to bring his strong creativity and unparalleled talent relationships to the Paramount Network,” said Kevin Kay, president Spike, in a statement.

Cox’s notice came on the heels of another big shakeup at the Viacom-owned channel. Sharon Levy announced Tuesday that she will be stepping down from her longtime role as executive vice president of original series at Spike. 

“As the winds of change blow through our hallways, bringing excitement for what will come, it is also the perfect time for me to do a little soul searching. I have reached a very hard decision which is to answer the call of the wild and leave Spike to pursue other opportunities,” Levy said in a memo to the Spike Team and shared with realscreen.

Levy (pictured) has been with the network for the past 12 years and as head of development she was integral in Spike’s growth and maturation from a male-focus network to the broad entertainment channel it has grown into, said Kevin Kay, president of Spike, in a memo.

“Under her watch, she introduced the world to the lovable and occasionally bombastic Jon Taffer, she made competitive tattooing a TV sensation, she oversaw the most compelling story ever made about the legendary Egyptian king Tut, and most recently, she oversaw the development of Stephen King’s The Mist and joined forces with Jay Z and Harvey Weinstein to tell the story of an innocent 16 year-old wronged by the criminal justice system (Time: The Kalief Browder Story),” said Kay.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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