Showtime Research Exec Kim Lemon Departs Company After 34-Year Run, With MTV And Paramount EVP Laurel Weir Expanding Role To Include His Duties

Kim Lemon, who rose to EVP of Data Strategy, Research, Scheduling and Programming at Showtime during a 34-year run, is departing the company.

The news was conveyed in an internal memo Tuesday from Chris McCarthy, head of Showtime/MTV Entertainment Studios and Paramount Media Networks, and Colleen Fahey Rush, EVP & Chief Research Officer at Paramount Global.

Lemon’s responsibilities will be assumed by Laurel Weir, EVP/Head of Programming and Strategic Insights & Research, MTV Entertainment Studios and Paramount Media Networks, who is adding Showtime to her portfolio. The move is consistent with a number of exec changes at Paramount Global in recent months.

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As a researcher and data analyst, the memo said, Lemon played an “integral role” in Showtime’s evolution from linear TV to streaming. The Showtime brand is the process of being combined with Paramount+ in both linear pay-TV packages and in a rebranded streaming service set to debut next month.

Here’s the full internal memo:

Hey everyone,

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

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