MTV Executive Steps down after 28 Years

Van Toffler has been the man responsible for guiding MTV and other Viacom-owned cable networks into the success that it has come to be, but the man who has his hand in developing some of the biggest entertainment channels has decided to step down from his throne.

Since the 1980s, Toffler has been one of the masterminds who helped developed MTV, Vh1, CMT, and Logo. He feels that he has done all he can do for these stations and has decided to leave them in April to start a career as an independent producer.

In a memo left by Toffler to Viacom staff members, he told his fellow coworkers that he plans on starting a new company, which he is calling “Below the Radar.” It will focus on “platform agnostic content creation and acquisition.”

The event occurred after Viacom had asked Toffler to renew his contract and that is when he decided that his efforts should be placed elsewhere. He believes that the number of new distribution venues available because of technology, will meet his fancy.

Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman said in a follow up memo commenting on Toffler’s departure by saying, “His infectious good nature, insatiable curiosity, creativity, and playful and charismatic leadership style have made Van an admired and respected colleague and a mentor to all who worked with him and for him. I will continue to count him as a good friend and close advisor.”

While Viacom has been struggling and looking for new ways to boost their ratings, the company plans to readjust their staff and focus on the digital media world that is dominating entertainment and society.

Toffler may have seen the struggles that the company has been dealing with and could have potentially left when he felt it was the easiest transition out. Even if this is true, he has had quiet an impressive career with the company and has served as the President of Viacom’s Music and Logo Group since 2004 and the President of MTV and MTV 2 since 1999.

Photo By: Brian Steinberg

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