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Viacom Says MTV Networks Chairman, CEO McGrath Steps Down

Viacom Inc. said Judy McGrath, who joined the company’s MTV cable channel as a copywriter in 1981, is resigning as chairman and chief executive officer of the MTV Networks division, effective immediately.

A successor won’t be named, the New York-based company said today in a statement. Unit heads under McGrath, 58, including MTV Entertainment Group President Doug Herzog, will report to Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman. The decision to leave was hers, the company said.

The division McGrath has led since July 2004 accounts for the majority of Viacom’s annual sales and created shows including “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and “The Colbert Report.” Cable networks led Viacom to a 53 percent profit gain in the quarter ended March 31.

Viacom, controlled by Chairman Sumner Redstone, fell 5 cents to $50.27 at 4 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The Class B shares have gained 27 percent this year.

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