Nickelodeon is shaking things up in its executive suite. The Los Angeles Times reports the departure Thursday of two senior executives, Paula Kaplan and Sal Maniaci.
"Kaplan, who has served as executive vice president of current TV series, told her team Thursday that she would be leaving the children’s network, according to people familiar with the matter," the story reports. "A network spokesman confirmed Kaplan’s pending exit but would not elaborate. Kaplan’s departure was reported earlier Thursday."
The report adds: "Late Thursday, Nickelodeon said that Maniaci — who re-joined the Viacom Inc.-owned cable channel, his longtime home, nearly two years ago after a stint at sister outlet TV Land — also was resigning. Maniaci could not be reached late Thursday."
After returning in 2012, Maniaci was a part of the group working on original programming and live TV events, including the "Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards" and the "TeenNick HALO Awards."
"Maniaci had worked closely with Margie Cohn, who left Nickelodeon last summer in another management overhaul. Cohn quickly landed at DreamWorks Animation as that company’s head of television," the Times notes. "Cohn, Maniaci and Kaplan had been at Nickelodeon in the mid-1990s, and over the years helped develop such juggernaut hits as ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ and ‘iCarly.’"
The kid-focused cable channel has been retooling since enduring a sizable ratings decline almost two years ago, when ratings fell almost 30%, the report notes.
"The lucrative Viacom channel has been trying to develop a new generation of hits," the article adds. "Ratings for the channel have improved in recent quarters, although the Disney Channel ended 2013 as the top children’s network for a second year among viewers ages 2 to 11."
The piece adds: "Nickelodeon Group President Cyma Zarghami has reshuffled the decks several times, most notably in the summer of 2012. The August 2012 shakeup forced out Nickelodeon’s animation chief Brown Johnson, the executive who was most responsible for creating the network’s cartoon sensation ‘Dora the Explorer.’"