Comedy Central boss exits amid falling ratings

Comedy Central president Michele Ganeless has been replaced after a period of ratings decline at the US channel.

Michele GanelessGaneless (pictured) will step down at the end of the month with president of original programming Kent Alterman moving into her role. She has been president for 12 years and with Viacom for 25, and will remain in an advisory role through September.

Further changes triggered by her departure see executive VP, programming and multiplatform strategy David Bernath promoted to general manager, reporting to Alterman.

Since Comedy Central said goodbye to stalwart comedy presenters Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, ratings in the US have tumbled.

Viacom Music and Entertainment Group president Doug Herzog said Ganeless had turned Comedy Central into a “cultural and multiplatform powerhouse”, adding the channel would be “doubling down” on finding and nurturing new talent going forwards.

“It has been a tremendous honour to lead the staggeringly talented team here for the past 12 years, and an absolute privilege to help build the cultural force that is Comedy Central today,” said Ganeless in a statement.

“The deep connection I have to it and to so many of my colleagues, especially my dear friend and mentor Doug, made this decision incredibly difficult. But after considerable thought, I have decided that the time is right to move on and challenge myself in new ways.”

Ganeless is credited with bringing through The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Inside Amy Schumer, Broad City, South Park and Tosh.0.

Her departure is the latest is a long line of managerial changes at Viacom, which is looking to reclaim ratings after a tough period for its networks, which include Comedy Central and MTV.

Herzog took his post last year, in part replacing the long-serving Van Toffler.