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Viacom Promotes Two Executives at Nickelodeon

February 14, 1996

Viacom Inc. promoted Herb Scannell to president of Nickelodeon, succeeding Geraldine Laybourne, who resigned in December to head a new cable division at Capital Cities/ABC Inc. Scannell, 39, was executive vice president of Nickelodeon Network and U.S. Television.

The media company also named Jeff Dunn, 41, to the new position of chief operating officer of Nickelodeon. Dunn was previously executive vice president of strategy and business development for Nickelodeon.

Scannell and Dunn have managed the daily operations of Nickelodeon since the departure of Laybourne, who is credited with building the children's network from scratch into the country's top-rated channel.

Scannell will be responsible for Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite and a new network, Nick at Nite's TV Land, which will begin in April. He said Tuesday that he will concentrate over the year on rolling out the new channel, on the network's first movie and on moving into prime time with original programming.

He said he will also consider bolstering the network's original programming on Saturday morning and in the late afternoon to remain competitive as broadcasters such as Walt Disney Co. and Time Warner Inc. put more emphasis on reaching children during those periods.

"We were No. 2 in the ratings on Saturday morning with only reruns," he said. "There are a lot of areas where we have yet to maximize our real estate."

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