HITS Daily Double
"John isn’t just in tune with popular culture... he isn't satisfied unless he is defining it."
—-Judy McGrath, MTV Networks


MTV Networks Boss Sings the Praises of Outgoing Colleague

Thanks to the Multi-Channel News, here’s the interoffice memo MTV NetworksJudy McGrath sent around today that John Sykes will be splitting his longtime home:

I have some news I want to share with you. John Sykes, a longtime member of the MTV Networks and Viacom family band, has made the decision to leave MTVN and plot the next chapter in his storied career.

Many have left their indelible mark on MTV Networks over the years, but John’s creative leadership, bold thinking, and social responsibility not to mention the world’s greatest A-list relationships truly shaped our company. John isn’t just in tune with popular culture... he isn't satisfied unless he is defining it.

He was here at the dawn of MTVN time, running around the country attempting to launch MTV, convincing people they needed Duran Duran in their lives. Or at least, to have their haircuts.

As President of VH1 from 1994 to 2002, John led the network to its first renaissance, with big ratings, revenue growth and every hot list. He shepherded the programming that defined VH1, and really launched the brand...from “Behind the Music” to “Pop Up Video” to signature events including the Fashion Awards, Divas and the Concert for New York City.

One undeniable fact about John...he is incredibly gifted at mobilizing people to create positive social change. At VH1, he almost single-handedly launched the Save the Music Foundation, which is still going strong in its eleventh year. The pro-social powerhouse has provided nearly $40 million worth of new musical instruments to 1,500 public schools in more than 100 cities around the country, impacting the lives of one million public school children. This in a time when arts programs were being decimated across the school landscape. John was also an architect of the Concert for New York City in October of 2001, which raised more than $36 million to benefit the victims of the attacks on 9/11.

Following his tenure at VH1, John joined Infinity Broadcasting, Viacom’s radio division prior to the split, as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, overseeing 185 radio stations reaching over 70 million listeners a week. Most recently, John served as our President of Network Development at MTVN, incubating innovative concepts for underserved audiences in the multi-platform media world.

Over the past 25-plus years, John has worn different hats and played new roles, and continually played the drums...but his love for this company has been a constant. He’s as much a part of our DNA as we are of his, and I know he’ll continue to be an advocate for our people and our brands as he goes on to pursue new challenges. He'll be here wrapping up until the end of the month.

Please join me in thanking John, and wishing him the best of luck and fun.

Thank you,