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Viacom Programming Exec Hunter Dies

Laura Hunter, a nine-year veteran of Viacom Inc.'s Nickelodeon and TV Land,
died of cancer Tuesday in Stanford, Calif. She was 39.

Hunter, who had been vice president of current series for the West Coast, was
promoted to senior vice president of programming for TV Land in November

She was first diagnosed with cancer that same month, shortly after relocating
from Los Angeles to New York, TV Land spokesman David Schwarz said.

'Laura Hunter's passing leaves a terrible void in our company,' Herb
Scannell, president of Nickelodeon, TV Land and TNN: The National Network, said
in a prepared statement.

'She was a kind and compassionate manager who was smart as a whip, always in
charge, generous, dignified and, if you were fortunate to know her well, an
incredibly funny person with a keen sense of humor,' he added.

Throughout her tenure at Nickelodeon and TV Land, Hunter played key roles in
developing programming initiatives, including the vintage network's recent
50th-anniversary celebration of I Love Lucy.

She was also a driving force behind Inside TV Land: African Americans in
, the network's upcoming three-part look at the historic role of
African Americans in front of and behind the camera. The special is scheduled to
air in February.

Hunter also played a pivotal role in the creation of Nickelodeon U.K. in
1993, the network's first international venture, Schwarz said.

She then moved to the Nickelodeon programming division as vice president of
programming. There, she was responsible for all aspects of programming and media
planning for the network, working closely with Nick general manager Cyma
Zarghami. After three years in that role, Hunter expanded her career into
production, moving to Los Angeles to be vice president of current series, West
Coast for Nick. One of Hunter's many career legacies is the Kids Choice
, according to Scannell.

Prior to joining Nickelodeon, Hunter was an account supervisor at advertising
agency Chiat/Day. Before that, the Los Angeles native held the same title at
Young & Rubicam Inc.

Surviving are her parents, Dr. Lloyd and Jan Hunter of Los Angeles; and
sisters Cynthia Lang of Woodside, Calif., and Elizabeth Hunter of Los

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, any donations be sent to the
Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation at P.O. Box 650309, Dallas, TX