Lisa Sherman, who has run the day-to-day-operations at Logo since its 2005 launch, is leaving the company as the Viacom network will be aligned with MTV. This marks an end of an era for Logo, started by then-president Brian Graden with Sherman as his top lieutenant. She took the reins of the network in 2008 when she was named EVP and general manager. The move to put Logo under the MTV umbrella, reporting to MTV President Stephen Friedman, will likely accelerate the transformation of Logo from a network strictly focused on the LGBT community one that caters to wider audience, which started last year. Over the years, Logo tried different types of programming, including scripted series and a daily talk show, but it always has been best known for its signature unscripted show, RuPaul’s Drag Race. Here is the memo about Sherman’s departure sent internally by Van Toffler, President of Viacom Media Networks Music & Logo Group. It is unclear whether the group will drop Logo from its name as the channel gets so closely aligned with MTV.
I want to let you know about some important changes that will be taking place at LOGO. First, it is with reluctance that I have accepted Lisa Sherman’s resignation as EVP and General Manger of LOGO. When Lisa Sherman came to me and told me she wanted to move on with the next step in her career, I knew she meant leaving Logo and leaving Viacom but not without a plan for a smooth transition and mapping out the best move for LOGO’s future. Because that is the kind of human being she is.
Our job moving forward is to build a fully integrated brand and achieve continued growth for the brand we all love. In order to do this, LOGO will become more fully aligned with MTV, taking advantage of MTV’s ability to make noise that resonates in culture. The two channels will remain distinctively separate brands, reporting into Stephen Friedman, President of MTV.
Let’s make LOGO a 21stcentury brand by cultivating off the learning and power of MTV, a brand that has consistently evolved and pioneered for more than 30 years. All of you, led by Lisa, have cleared the way in establishing LOGO –from a newly launched brand 8 years ago to one that has helped propel the cultural dialogue with an outrageous yet heartfelt sensibility that has attracted blue chip advertisers and a loyal audience.
It’s the right time to take the next step. LOGO and MTV have always held shared principles around embracing and championing LGBT characters, narratives and issues so there’s already an organic bond between the two. From the outset LOGO was a vision, kind of a north star to strive for, an ideal like the notion behind our country where folks of all types, genders, sexuality could be afforded a home, an escape and some fun entertainment. And hell if we haven’t made some great strides to get there. So let’s put the turbo engines on to continue to overcome any and all obstacles and more closely align with another brand that started as a notion for young people and music fans to hang and be entertained. Sound familiar?
Let me say a few words about Lisa and how she successfully brought us to this moment. From the start, Lisa has brought passion and talent to this network and our company. It is not an exaggeration to say that the visibility of LOGO and the visibility of the LGBT community have gone hand in hand over these last eight years giving us all an opportunity to have played a part not just in a TV network but in the history of a movement. LOGO, under her watch has made some great television from the first series of Noah’s Arc to our mega hit, Ru Paul, to our popular awards show New Now Next and offered important specials to engage the community in the issues such as the first ever televised Presidential Forum where candidates addressed the LGBT community directly on our air with the Visible Vote. She and the LOGO team have innovated in the digital space, where LOGO has built the largest LGBT online community of websites, each offering its own unique content and growing traffic.
And importantly, the network has grown from its launch in 13 million homes to our audience today in over 50 million homes. Lisa’s tireless evangelist efforts at sales helped capture the imagination and revenue of over 400 prominent national advertisers most of whom had their first targeted ad campaigns to the community on LOGO.
On a personal note, Lisa has been a wonderful colleague and friend to me and I know to all of you. Her enthusiasm and generosity are matched by her talent and we will miss her. She has generously agreed to stay on to ensure a smooth transition, so we don’t have to say goodbye just yet.
We will be meeting with the LOGO team today to lay this out a bit more and address any questions. In the meantime, please join me in wishing Lisa well and I know she joins all of us with excitement for LOGOS’s future with MTV.
Thank you, Van