Monday, April 15, 2013

Quick Exits

A Nick president and vice-president depart.

Another influential programmer at Nickelodeon -- Margie Cohn -- is leaving the children's network as the operation struggles to remain relevant with pint-sized viewers who are watching content on different platforms.

Nickelodeon said Monday that Cohn, president of content development, as well as Alison Dexter, the Los Angeles-based executive vice president of production, were exiting the network immediately. ...

Monday's sudden departures of Cohn and Dexter are the latest management moves under Cyma Zarghami, president of the Nickelodeon Group of channels.

After Nickelodeon's senior management came under fire last year by Wall Street analysts amid a dramatic ratings plunge, Zarghami began realigning the ranks by promoting managers viewed internally as loyal members of her team.

Cohn had been with Nickelodeon since the channel's early days, helping shepherd such shows as "SpongeBob," "iCarly," "Double Dare" and "Rugrats."

"Both Margie and Alison have made incredible and lasting contributions to Nickelodeon over the years, and I know you join me in wishing them both all the best," Zarghami wrote in an email to Nickelodeon staff announcing the news.

In August, another key programming executive, Brown Johnson, the Nickelodeon executive most responsible for the channel's bicultural hit "Dora the Explorer," was pushed out. Johnson was deeply involved with development of last year's CGI-animated reboot of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," which has enjoyed success on Saturday mornings. ...

But senior Nickelodeon executives being shoved overboard in a brisk, rude way isn't surprising when you consider this:

For the week of April 1, 2013, Disney Channel swept Total Day, ranking as cable TV’s #1 network in Total Viewers and TV’s #1 network across Kids 2-11, Kids 6-11 and Tweens. Hitting 13 week highs, Disney Channel levied its largest competitive advantage over Nickelodeon ever in Tweens and surpassed by double-digits for the 74th consecutive week in Kids 6-11.

In Hollywood, it's always a case of "What have you done for me lately?"

Ms. Dexter and I didn't particularly get along; still in all, I'm always sad to see people slipped the axe. So good luck to Alison Dexter and Margie Cohn in future endeavors.


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