Monday, January 21, 2019

Nickelodeon EVP Talent, Music & Events Shelly Sumpter Gillyard Exits Company

Another longtime senior Nickelodeon executive is departing the Viacom network, which has been revamping its programming team under new president Brian Robbins.

Deadline has learnt that Shelly Sumpter Gillyard, Executive Vice President (EVP) Talent, Music and Events and a 19-year Nickelodeon veteran, has left the cable network. A replacement is expected to be named shortly.

She joins Elizabeth Murray, who recently stepped down as EVP Programming and Content Strategy. She was replaced last week by former Disney Channels Worldwide exec Paul DeBenedittis.

Since he took over the running of Nickelodeon in October, succeeding Cyma Zarghami, Robbins also brought in longtime close associate Shauna Phelan in the newly created position of Senior Vice President (SVP) Live-Action Scripted Content, and Oscar-nominated producer Ramsey Naito as EVP Animation Production and Development. Naito replaced Chris Viscardi, who segued into a producer role for the network, overseeing the creation of feature-length animated content for both Nickelodeon and third-party digital and linear platforms.

Additionally, as part of the continuing restructuring at the Viacom cable group, Nickelodeon EVPs Bronwen O’Keefe and Lee Ann Chmielewski-Larsen, were let go shortly before Robbins joined the network. O’Keefe had been with the company for 20 years; Chmielewski-Larsen had been with Nick for 27 years.

Sumpter Gillyard was upped from SVP Talent to EVP in 2017, reporting to Zarghami. She oversaw all talent relations across live TV events, music and live-action programming for all the Nickelodeon brands.

Sumpter Gillyard worked with such tentpole events as the Kids’ Choice Awards, Kids’ Choice Sports and Nickelodeon HALO Awards. Additionally, she worked with such live-action series as Henry Danger, Game Shakers, The Thundermans and Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn.

Sumpter Gillyard is credited with bringing talent like Blake Shelton, Justin Timberlake, Nick Jonas, Will Smith, Dwayne Johnson and Mark Wahlberg to host Kids’ Choice Awards; and she forged a relationship with Michael Strahan to serve as executive producer of Kid’ Choice Sports, building a roster of sports superstars who want to work with Nick, including Seattle Seahawk’s Super Bowl-winning Quarter Back Russell Wilson as host and Kobe Bryant, who was famously slimed in gold in 2016. Sumpter Gillyard also oversaw the selection and curation of talent for Nick’s pro-social-themed concert event, The HALO Awards, which was hosted by Nick Cannon and featured performances from some of the hottest musical talent.

Sumpter Gillyard initially joined the Nickelodeon talent department as a manager in 1997. Prior to that, she was director of publicity for The Steve Rifkind Company and an account executive at Cathcart Public Relations.

NickALive! wishes Shelly all the best in all her future endeavours.
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