The following is a list of presidents of the children's cable television network Nickelodeon.

Dr. Vivian Horner (1977–1979)

Further information: History of Nickelodeon § 1977–1979: Pre-launch with Pinwheel

Dr. Vivian Horner was in charge of operations at Nickelodeon's predecessor, the "C-3" children's channel on QUBE. She created the first program on Nickelodeon, Pinwheel, and conceived the idea for the Nickelodeon channel itself.[1] As the role of "Nickelodeon president" did not exist yet, Horner's official titles were "vice president for education and children's programming"[2] and "head of program development" for Warner-Amex (Nickelodeon's original parent company).[3] She worked at Nickelodeon until 1983.[4]

Cyril Schneider (1980–1984)

Further information: History of Nickelodeon § 1979–1984: Official launch as Nickelodeon

In 1980, Warner-Amex hired Cyril M. Schneider to be the president of the Nickelodeon network, which made its national debut less than a year earlier. Despite introducing popular programs such as You Can't Do That on Television to the lineup in 1981, Nickelodeon operated at a loss of $10 million dollars, and at one point had the lowest number of viewers compared to other cable channels by 1984. In 1983, Bob Pittman was made head of MTV Networks and Schneider was not comfortable with his "idiotic" approach to "home-based" television. As a result, Schneider left the network in early 1984.[5]

Geraldine Laybourne (1984–1996)

Further information: History of Nickelodeon § 1984–1996: Golden age

In 1980, Laybourne was hired as a program manager at Nickelodeon, a year-old network, where she initiated the focus-group approach to programming.

Laybourne was one of the first people to focus on television programming for kids. She spent 15 years at Nickelodeon, taking over the management of the network, and started accepting advertising for the network, in 1984.[6]

Laybourne and her team were responsible for creating and building the Nickelodeon brand, launching Nick at Nite and expanding the network by establishing it in other countries, developing theme parks and creating Nickelodeon magazine, movie, toy and publishing divisions.[citation needed]

Under her leadership, Nickelodeon became the top-rated 24-hour cable programming service and won Emmy Awards, Peabody Awards, CableACE Awards and Parents' Choice Awards. The network had a 40% profit margin and explosive growth every year.[7]

Laybourne built Nickelodeon into the first global television network to profit from selling advertising targeted towards children. Her programming approach, which made a point of talking to children as equals, built the tiny cable network, which had only five employees in 1980, into an $8 billion business.[8]

Herb Scannell (1996–2006)

Further information: History of Nickelodeon § 1996–2006: Scannell era

In February 1996, Scannell was named President of Nickelodeon and TV Land, succeeding Geraldine Laybourne. Under his leadership, Nickelodeon (which, under his watch, included such animated series as SpongeBob SquarePants, Danny Phantom, The Fairly OddParents, Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Angry Beavers, Catscratch, and Hey Arnold!) and TV Land became the highest rated cable networks launched within the past seven years. Nickelodeon also expanded to other areas such as live theatrical shows, magazines and feature films. He was also responsible for launching Dora the Explorer, The Brothers Garcia (which is based on Los Garcia, a show he used to watch in Puerto Rico) and Taina.[9]

Cyma Zarghami (2006–2018)

Further information: History of Nickelodeon § 2006–2018: Zarghami era

Zarghami joined Nickelodeon as a scheduling clerk in 1985. She moved up through the programming department and became the channel's general manager in 1996, overseeing programming, scheduling, acquisitions, marketing, and day-to-day management of the network. Zarghami was promoted to general manager and executive vice-president in 1997.[10]

In 2004, the position of president of Nickelodeon Television was created for Zarghami, where she oversaw production and development for the network, along with marketing, programming and creativity.[11] After the resignation of Herb Scannell on January 5, 2006, Zarghami became president of the newly formed Kids & Family Group, which included Nickelodeon, Nick@Nite, Nick Jr., TeenNick, Nicktoons, TV Land, CMT, and CMT Pure Country.[12]

On June 4, 2018, Zarghami resigned as president of Nickelodeon and retired, after being with the network for 33 years.[13]

Brian Robbins (2018–present)

Further information: History of Nickelodeon § 2018–present: Robbins era

On October 1, 2018, Brian Robbins left his position as the president of Paramount Players after Viacom tapped him to be the president of Nickelodeon, ending his 16–month run at the studio. Despite leaving the studio, he remained involved with some of Paramount Players' films.[14]

See also


  1. ^ Marks, Jill (1983). "Warner Communications". Cable Television Business. Vol. 20. Cardiff Publishing Company. Nickelodeon was the brainchild of Dr. Vivian Horner of WACCI, who created 'Pinwheel' for pre-schoolers while at the MSO's Qube system in Columbus, Ohio.
  2. ^ Higher Education and National Affairs. American Council on Education. 1978.
  3. ^ Cable Vision. Cahners Business Information. 1982.
  4. ^ "Forgotten founders". Forbes.
  5. ^ Hendershot, Heather (2004). Nickelodeon Nation: The History, Politics, and Economics of America's Only TV Channel for Kids. NYU Press. ISBN 9780814736517.
  6. ^ Poniewozik, James (31 January 2000). "Television: Will Women Take A Breath Of Oxygen?". Time.
  7. ^ "World According to...Geraldine Laybourne". Business Journals. 24 January 2008.
  8. ^ "Geraldine Laybourne". 2010. Archived from the original on 29 August 2010.
  9. ^ "Corporate Bio". Archived from the original on October 15, 2007.
  10. ^ "Nick ups four to exec VP posts". Variety. November 5, 1997. Retrieved November 23, 2008.
  11. ^ Oei, Lily (January 6, 2004). "Zarghami named Nick TV prez". Variety. Retrieved November 23, 2008.
  12. ^ Dempsey, John (January 4, 2006). "Scannell changes channel". Variety. Retrieved November 23, 2008.
  13. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (June 4, 2018). "Cyma Zarghami Stepping Down As President Of Nickelodeon Group". Deadline. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  14. ^ Sandberg, Bryn Elise (October 1, 2018). "Viacom Names Brian Robbins President of Nickelodeon". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 1, 2018.