breakdown: There are few ad agency/TV network relationships out
there such as Wieden & Kennedy and ESPN but when they do
happen, it's magic. Perhaps now is the time for Comedy Central to
Levitt as executive vice president,
marketing, it was announced today by Michele Ganeless, president, COMEDY CENTRAL.
He will be based in the network'sNew York City office and report directly
to Ganeless. In this role Levitt will be a key member of the
all-comedy network's senior leadership team, overseeing all facets
of strategic and creative brand development, consumer marketing and
cross-business initiatives. Levitt comes to COMEDY CENTRAL
from Canwest Broadcasting, one of Canada's largest media companies, where he was
chief marketing officer.
"Walter's experience and pedigree are
unparalleled. He has been masterful at building consistent
brand messaging across multiple screens," said Ganeless.
"We're thrilled to have him bring his talents to COMEDY
CENTRAL and are grateful that he holds no animosity towards the
network that helped coin the phrase 'Blame
media marketer, the opportunity to lead the COMEDY CENTRAL brand is
a rare treat. I look forward to working with the talented team
here," said Levitt. "And, on behalf of all the citizens
of Canada, I hereby
officially pardon the network for that whole 'Blame Canada'
of North America's top media
marketing executives, Levitt was most recently chief marketing
officer at Canwest Broadcasting where he oversaw brand strategy,
advertising, on-air promotion, publicity and content distribution
for the company's portfolio of television and digital brands
including broadcast network Global Television (with 13 local
affiliate stations) and 19 Canadian cable channels including Food
Network Canada, HGTV Canada, History Television, IFC Canada,
Movietime, National Geographic Canada and
his achievements at Canwest, Levitt oversaw several comprehensive
network launches and re-branding initiatives including Global
Television, Showcase, TVtropolis and DIY Network Canada and played
a key role in Global's ratings resurgence, overseeing the launches
of many top 10 programs including "Glee," "Prison Break" and
"Rookie Blue." He was responsible for negotiating Canwest's
landmark video-on-demand agreement with Rogers Cable – the
country's first major primetime VOD offering. Levitt was also
a key member of the Canwest management team that oversaw the
successful integration of the Alliance Atlantis cable assets.
These and other achievements led Canwest to be named 2007's
"Media Player of the Year"
by Marketing magazine.
joined Canwest in 2005 from Alliance Atlantis where, over a period
of eight years, he held progressively senior marketing roles
including senior vice president, marketing and creative services.
Levitt was responsible for consumer, trade and affiliate
marketing for its thirteen well-branded cable channels and
international television distribution business including the "CSI"
franchise. Under his leadership Alliance Atlantis was widely
recognized for its marketing efforts, winning numerous Canadian and
international awards and in 2004 was named "Media Player of the
Year" by Marketing magazine. Prior to
Alliance Atlantis, Levitt worked in marketing roles at the CTV
Television Network and at CJEZ-FM in Toronto. He began his career as an
on-air producer at radio station CKGM.
acknowledged industry leader, Levitt has been widely credited for
his strategic and innovative branding and marketing. He is
regularly invited to speak at industry conferences in
both Canada and the U.S.
and in 2008 was featured in a special issue
ofMarketing magazine as one of the country's "Top 100
Thought Leaders." Levitt, a Montreal native, is also well known for
his active involvement in social media thanks to his popular
Twitter account @MediaMktgGuy.
CENTRAL, the only all-comedy
network, currently is seen in more than 98 million homes
nationwide. COMEDY CENTRAL is owned by, and is a registered
trademark of Comedy Partners, a wholly-owned division
of Viacom Inc.'s (NYSE: VIAand VIA.B)
MTV Networks. COMEDY CENTRAL's Internet address
is www.comedycentral.com. For up-to-the-minute and archival press
information and photographs visit www.comedycentral.com/press.
COMEDY CENTRAL Corporate Communications