Early Wednesday afternoon, one of the television industry’s most influential moguls announced his retirement. Viacom’s Doug Herzog, who worked as an executive at the company for over 30 years, sent out a letter to his fellow employees announcing that he was ending his tenure with the company on January 12th.
Herzog had a hand in shaping much of the culture that’s been seen on television in the last few decades. He began his career in 1984 as a programming executive at MTV. In the mid-nineties, he made his way over to Comedy Central for his first stint at the network, where he had a hand in the discovery of talents like Trey Parker, Matt Stone, and Jon Stewart. While Comedy Central wasn’t the only network he had oversight of — he also spent time running programming at VH1, USA Network, Fox Broadcasting, Logo and Spike — it certainly is where he left his biggest footprint.
In addition to shows like South Park and The Daily Show (he appointed both Jon Stewart and Trevor Noah), Herzog also had a hand in the creation of popular shows like The Colbert Report, Key & Peele, Inside Amy Schumer, Broad City, Workaholics and various others.
“It was a helluva run, and I would wish it on anyone. I loved every minute of it,” said Herzog in his letter. A helluva run indeed!