In 1981, Judy McGrath was a copy writer for Warner Amex Satellite Entertainment, working on projects such as the “Devo Goes Hawaiian” campaign. Eventually, she would rise to the top of one of the world’s most recognizable media brands, Viacom Inc.’s MTV Networks.
“I was happy in the magazine business [at Condé Nast Publications, before MTV], but the concept of building a brand around music from scratch was worth the risk of leaving, and cable was the emerging platform and a nascent business as a targeted alternative to broadcast,” she said. “It was really taking off, and like all young people, I wanted to be where the action was. I got lucky.”
Lucky and timely. The fledgling music network was launching and McGrath felt the pulse of a vibrant and relevant new brand of television, MTV.