Judy McGrath Steps Down as Astronauts Wanted CEO

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Judy McGrath

Originally formed as a joint venture with Sony Music Entertainment, the digital-centric production company will move under Sony Pictures Television's Embassy Row.

Judy McGrath is stepping down from her post as CEO of Astronauts Wanted as the digital production company moves homes. 

The five-year-old company, which McGrath set up as a joint venture with Sony Music Entertainment, will now become a part of Sony Pictures Television's Embassy Row. Michael Davies, president and CEO of Embassy Row, will oversee the venture, and McGrath will transition into an advisory role. She also will continue to serve as an executive producer on Astronauts Wanted projects. 

"Michael Davies has built a terrific team, brand and business with Embassy Row, and I'm excited to join his venture into scripted content for young adults," McGrath said in a statement. "We launched Astronauts Wanted with Sony Music Entertainment and I'm happy to stay connected to the Sony family for the next Astronauts adventure." 

McGrath spent seven years as chairman and CEO of MTV Networks before she left the Viacom-owned business in 2011. Two years later, she launched Astronauts Wanted to focus on mobile and digital video production. The company has produced Awkwafina's YouTube talk show Tawk and YouTube Red's Lilly Singh documentary A Trip to Unicorn Island. In recent months, as the market for digital shortform projects has started to dry up, Astronauts Wanted has placed an emphasis on experimental social projects and episodic and film projects, including the pilot for scripted thriller Socio, for all platforms. 

Under the umbrella of Embassy Row, which is known for such unscripted productions as Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and Men in Blazers, Astronauts Wanted will look to continue developing alternative scripted series and films for young adult audiences. 

"We're always looking for innovative ways to diversify our portfolio, so it made sense to move Astronauts Wanted, with its emphasis on scripted content, over to Embassy Row, keeping it under the Sony banner," said Davies. "I look forward to working with Judy McGrath to develop content for the next generation." 

Variety first reported the news.