Family & Companions
One of the primary forces behind the look and feel of MTV since its inception, Judy McGrath was named president of MTV Music Television in 1993 and has continued to not only keep the cable network fresh and cutting edge, but also has moved it from being merely a music videobox into to airing original programming such as "Dead at 21," "The Jon Stewart Show," "The Real World" and "Beavis and Butt-head."
McGrath joined MTV in 1981 writing on-air prompts and helped to develop the animated interstitial IDs that defined the network. She moved up the ladder to editorial director, creative director, and, in 1991, executive director sharing control of the entire network operations with Sara Levinson. Besides developing programming, McGrath kept MTV on track as a style setter for the youth of the world. It has been said that all VJs (music video hosts) must be under 30 years of age and that McGrath even had approval to change wardrobes. Additionally, she has been said to approve the videos to be played, keeping the network geared towards rock'n'roll and--much to the criticism of some--away from R&B and, often, relegating rap and hip-hop to only specific programs. McGrath also spearheaded the "Choose or Lose" election coverage on MTV in 1992.
As its initial music-only format waned in popularity, the network has diversified with dance and dating programs (i.e., "The Grind," "Singled Out"), documentaries and reruns of network shows (e.g., "My So-Called Life") Shows such as "The Real World," in which several college-age youths are roomed together for cinema verite, have won MTV much press coverage as has the animated "Beavis and Butt-head," although much for the latter has been negative. McGrath moved to the big screen as executive producer of MTV's maiden voyage into feature film production, "Joe's Apartment" (1996).
Producer (Feature Film)
Worked as on-air prompt writer at MTV
Assumed all responsibily at MTV for programming, music, production and promotion
Named president of MTV
Was executive producer of the feature "Joe's Apartment"
Appointed as president of MTV Networks, overseeing MTV, VH1, and Country Music Television
Named Chairman and CEO of MTV Networks