Showtime Research and Scheduling Chief Kim Lemon to Exit After 34 Years, Paramount’s Laurel Weir to Add Oversight of Premium Cabler
Showtime research and scheduling chief Kim Lemon is exiting his post after 34 years with the company. Upon his exit, MTV Entertainment Studios and Paramount Media Networks’ Laurel Weir will be adding oversight of the Showtime brand (soon to be renamed Paramount+ With Showtime) to her purview.
Most recently executive vice president of data strategy, research, scheduling and programming, Lemon began his career at Showtime more than three decades ago as a manager of marketing research.
More from Variety
Paramount Media Networks, Showtime and MTV Entertainment Studios to Lay Off 25% of U.S. Staff as MTV News Shuts Down
Paramount Names Michael Engleman CMO of Paramount+ Domestic and Showtime, Puja Vohra Upped to EVP of Consumer Marketing Under Domenic DiMeglio
“Throughout his tenure, Kim has played an integral role in Showtime’s evolution from a linear network to a bonafide streaming service, establishing a first-in-class data science group,” wrote Showtime/MTV Entertainment Studios and Paramount Media Networks president Chris McCarthy and Paramount’s executive vice president and chief research officer Colleen Fahey Rush in a memo to staff Tuesday, which was obtained by Variety. “He is a pioneer in brand strategy, always prioritizing our content and being mindful of how it would inform our growth while showing great reverence for the creative process and our audience’s feedback.”
Lemon will remain with the company for the time being to assist with the transition of his responsibilities to Weir, who serves executive vice president and head of programming and strategic insights & research for MTV Entertainment Studios and Paramount Media Networks.
Weir will continue to dual report to McCarthy, for programming and strategy, and Fahey Rush, for research.
A 20-year vet of Viacom/Paramount, Weir is credited with “leading the charge in fueling our linear-streaming ecosystem, maximizing our traditional business and consistently growing market share,” per McCarthy and Fahey Rush, as well as creating “record-breaking results” across the company in collaborations with Paramount+ and Pluto TV.
News of Lemon’s exit and Weir’s expanding role comes one day after Paramount Global revealed it will launch the newly integrated Paramount+ With Showtime service in the U.S. on June 27, establishing it as the company’s top-tier streaming product without commercials. By the end of the year, Paramount intends to sunset the Showtime app and rebrand the linear premium pay-TV channel to “deliver a distinguished premium service with hit originals across linear and streaming – the first to truly integrate streaming and linear content this way.”
See McCarthy and Fahey Rush’s full letter to employees about the changes below.
We wanted to share some news with you about our colleague and friend, Kim Lemon. After an incredible 34-year career at SHOWTIME, Kim has decided to embark on his next chapter.
Throughout his tenure, Kim has played an integral role in SHOWTIME’s evolution from a linear network to a bonafide streaming service, establishing a first-in-class data science group. He is a pioneer in brand strategy, always prioritizing our content and being mindful of how it would inform our growth while showing great reverence for the creative process and our audience’s feedback.
Starting as Manager of Marketing Research and working his way up to EVP of Data Strategy, Research, Scheduling, and Programming, Kim has been a vital part of SHOWTIME’s fabric, consistently striving to elevate the brand and make a cultural impact with our storytelling.
Although we are very sad to see him go, don’t worry, he will be around for some time to help with the transition and consult.
With Kim’s departure, we are excited to announce that Laurel Weir, EVP/Head of Programming and Strategic Insights & Research, MTV Entertainment Studios and Paramount Media Networks, will be stepping in and expanding her purview to now include SHOWTIME where she will continue to dual report into Colleen and me – Colleen on all things Research and me on the Programming/Strategy side.
A little bit about Laurel for those who may not know her yet – she’s been a force at Viacom/Paramount for 20+ years, and her innovative research, strategic initiatives, dynamic programming and deep understanding of audience engagement have been instrumental in driving our success. In addition to leading the charge in fueling our linear-streaming ecosystem, maximizing our traditional business and consistently growing market share, her collaboration with our partners at Paramount+ and Pluto TV to accelerate streaming via our hit franchises has yielded record-breaking results across the portfolio.
Laurel has also established research collaborations with partners like Duke University and USC Annenberg School, delivering groundbreaking insights that have enabled us to build coalitions and create mission-driven movements in mental health and youth voter access. She’s a team first leader whose passion for our content is infectious.
A die-hard New York Giants fan who also finds time to coach her twin boys’ basketball team, Laurel’s enthusiasm for building culture and creating entertainment that brings people together is one of her many superpowers.
Please join us in thanking Kim for his incredible contributions to SHOWTIME and congratulating Laurel on her new role.
Chris and Colleen
Best of Variety
Emmy Predictions: Guest Actress (Drama) -- Melanie Lynskey and Anna Torv From 'The Last of Us' Challenging 'Succession' Women
Tony Predictions: Best Musical -- Four Stand Poised to Give ‘Kimberly Akimbo’ Some Competition
This 'Fast and Furious' Arcade Cabinet Allows You to Step Behind the Wheel as Dom Toretto
Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.