Russell Hicks, president of content development and production at Nickelodeon, is leaving the kids network after 18 years.
In a staff memo Wednesday, Cyma Zarghami, president of the Viacom Kids and Family Group, credited Hicks with refilling the network’s content pipeline and launching the new hit show The Loud House.
"Though it is hard to have to say goodbye to someone who has been such a fixture at the company, and a friend, this transition comes at a time when the Nickelodeon brand truly is in a position of strength."
No replacement was named. “The current temporary structure for our teams will remain in place while we regroup and formulate the right plan for going forward,” Zarghami said.
Below is the text of Zarghami’s memo:
I wanted to share with you the news that Russell Hicks has decided to step down from his position at Nickelodeon.
For the last 18 years, Russell has been an incredible creative partner not just to me, but to our entire organization, first as Chief Creative Officer, but especially during these last four years, in which he served as our President of Content Development and Production.
Though it is hard to have to say good-bye to someone who has been such a fixture at the company, and a friend, this transition comes at a time when the Nickelodeon brand truly is in a position of strength.
Since moving to the West Coast in 2012, Russell expertly shepherded our terrific development and creative teams to some of our greatest creative successes. Our content pipeline at the moment is the most full and varied it has ever been. Our relationships with the creative community have never been as deep as they are today. And we have a schedule of hits, in every genre, across all of our platforms.
All of our great work has put us back at number one--with preschoolers, with kids 2-11, and as of the end of May, with kids 6-11 once again. In fact, our just-launched show, The Loud House, which originated from our shorts program, is already the top animated kids’ show on TV, joining SpongeBob and Alvinnn! to lock up the overall top three.
The current temporary structure for our teams will remain in place while we regroup and formulate the right plan for going forward.
Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.
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