4:58pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Comedy Central Shake-Up: Kent Alterman Replaces Michele Ganeless at Top
There's a change at the top of another Viacom cable network.
Following her 12-year run, Comedy Central president Michele Ganeless is stepping down, the cable network announced Monday. She will be replaced by her second-in-command, original programming president Kent Alterman. Ganeless will depart at the end of May and will remain on board in an advisory role through September. She will work throughout the transition with Alterman, who assumes the role immediately. Additionally, David Bernath — executive vp programming and multiplatform strategy — has been promoted to Comedy Central GM, reporting to Alterman.
Most recently, Ganeless oversaw Comedy Central's late-night transition after Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert exited their respective series and, in the months since, the network has seen its ratings decline considerably. Despite critical acclaim and pop cultural buzz for such series as Broad City, the younger-skewing net's primetime lineup has struggled to maintain a robust linear viewership as well.
Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Ganeless' contract was up this year and she was looking to move on to new opportunities, though her exit follows several others -- including top execs at MTV and VH1 -- across the challenged Viacom portfolio.
Alterman is a longtime Comedy Central exec, rising from heading its New York development team (1996-2000) before exiting for Fox Film Studios and New Line. He returned to the company in 2010 and rose from exec vp to president of original programming. He had been reporting to Ganeless as he oversaw the creation of all original programming. His credits include The Daily Show With Trevor Noah, The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore, Inside Amy Schumer, Broad City, Key & Peele, Drunk History and more.
Here's Herzog internal memo to staff: