Kay drives Spike TV as president


Kevin Kay has been promoted to president of Spike TV.

The New York-based executive had served as GM and executive vp of the male-targeted cable network for two years.

Before becoming GM of Spike, Kay was executive vp programming and production, overseeing original series, including the Ultimate Fighting Championship franchise and special events like the Spike TV Video Game Awards.

In June, he oversaw the launch of "The Kill Point," an eight-hour limited drama series starring John Leguizamo and Donnie Wahlberg.

In his new role, Kay will oversee all original series development. He also will continue to oversee production of specials and sports programming as well as the marketing, corporate communications, research, on-air promotions, online and production departments.

He reports to MTV Networks Entertainment Group president Doug Herzog, who had been president of Spike TV (along with serving as president of Comedy Central and overseeing TV Land) until being promoted to his current position in December. Herzog praised Kay for his "incredible leadership, vision and creativity."

"His numerous successes thus far, including igniting the UFC phenomenon by launching 'The Ultimate Fighter,' are a testament to his foresight in creating brand-defining hit programming for guys," Herzog said.

Kay said the most pressing issue is extending the network's relationship with UFC. The two entities are in negotiations on a new contract — the current one expires at the end of 2008 — and "we'd like to renew it for many years to come," he said.

Meanwhile, scripted programming also is a priority, Kay said, noting that Spike is about to go into production on its first original comedy series, "The Factory," an improvised show from "Strangers With Candy" co-creator Mitch Rouse.

On the drama side, Spike is considering doing another season of "Kill Point."

"We're really pleased with how it did," Kay said. "It brought a whole new level of creative and on-air talent to the brand."

In terms of unscripted programming, Spike is undergoing a "sea change," Kay said, as it is moving away from reality competitions toward "more factual entertainment" after network research found that "guys want to know about things they may never do, and we're looking at entertaining ways to give them more information about that." Unscripted shows in development include 44 Blue's "Declassified," focusing on special ops missions, and "1,000 Ways to Die," from Original Prods.