Session: A Conversation With, Judy McGrath, former MTV Networks Chair and CEO, founder and CEO of Astronauts Wanted, Amazon Board Member
Judy McGrath is a veteran of MTVNetworks, a division of Viacom, where she oversaw the management and global operations of the company's multiplatform portfolio of brands. As one of the original launch team members for MTV, McGrath was elevated to Chairwoman and CEO, responsible for the creative and business direction of all the company networks, including MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, VH1, CMT, Paramount TV, TV Land, LOGO and Nick At Nite.
After decades at Viacom, McGrath left to form a joint venture digital content studio with Sony Music, called Astronauts Wanted: No Experience Necessary. While at Astronauts, McGrath and her team delivered a movie starring Lily Singh to YouTube, and gave Nora Lum, aka Awkwafina, her first series, called TAWK, in partnership with Verizon. Astronauts Wanted is now a division of Embassy Row, a production company owned by Sony Television and Pictures. McGrath is currently advising the Group Nine Media brands, including NowThis news, Thrillist, Seeker and the DoDo.
Throughout her career, McGrath championed many young adult landmark series and events, including: The Real World, Unplugged, The MTV Video Music Awards, Spongebob Squarepants, iCarly, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report and many other franchises. In addition, McGrath supported pro-social initiatives like Rock The Vote, the Hope for Haiti Now global benefit concert, Nickelodeon's Let's Just Play, and many more.
The Emmy® award-winning McGrath began her career at Conde Nast Publications as a writer for several of their magazines prior to joining MTV. She is on the boards of Amazon, VICE, the Global Poverty Project, and The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.