Doug Herzog, '81
president of Viacom Entertainment Group
Q. What are you currently working on?
I am running three cable networks: TV Land, Spike TV, and Comedy Central. On TV Land, we are about to launch a new comedy entitled Retired at 35, a show we are very excited about. And we are working on evolving the brand of Spike TV, which will be challenging and engaging. Finally, we are introducing our first comedy awards show on Comedy Central.
Q. Was there one person at Emerson who shifted the course of your career?
Eddie Madison ’79 (media production executive) who I met my freshman year. He got me involved in campus television at Emerson and was a great friend and an early mentor. He ultimately hired me and gave me my first job. He was a producer of a new show on CNN, which had just launched. He hired me to be an associate producer of a live talk show that aired every night at 10:00 pm. This was in the nascent days of cable and I was 20 years old.
Q. Are you professionally connected to other Emersonians? Could you share an example or two?
I run into so many of the friends I went to school with who are working in the cable, television, and film business today. In my companies, we also have a constant influx of Emerson students as interns, whom I enjoy meeting as well. So I have my established Emerson network and then this new network of younger Emersonians who are entering the ranks every year. It is great.
Q. What’s the single most important piece of advice you’d like to give to prospective or current Emerson students about how to make the best use of what Emerson offers?
If you are already at Emerson College, then you’re already on your way. If the Emerson culture feels right to you, and you are successful as a student, use those instincts, that creativity, and those time management skills to help you get to where you want to be. That’s why you went to Emerson in the first place. You have a leg up. Emerson prepares you better than any other college for careers in communication and the arts. There is a tremendous Emerson network out there, with a proud history of mentoring newcomers and pointing fellow alumni in the right direction.