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James F. Blue III is leaving Paramount Global after a year and a half as SVP and Head of the Smithsonian Channel. His announcement was made today in an internal memo to his staff which is below:

Dear Team SMITH –

I wanted to let you know that I have made the very hard decision to step down as the Head of the Smithsonian Channel.

I want to personally thank each and every one of you for all that we were able to accomplish together.

It has been my great honor to work with you, and I look forward to cheering you on as the SMITH brand continues to evolve. Every good wish for future success!

With my sincere thanks –


Blue was named head of the Smithsonian Channel in December 2020 and was tasked with leading, expanding and diversifying the network’s content while working with the Smithsonian Institution to support its efforts to engage, inspire and educate. His oversight also included content creation and related experiential and event programming.

Blue’s note was accompanied by a company email by Chris McCarthy, President & CEO of Paramount Global’s Media Networks; Nina L. Diaz, CCO and president of content for MTV Entertainment Group; and Keyes Hill-Edgar, COO, Paramount Media Networks & MTV Entertainment Studios. In the email, they thanked Blue for his contributions and indicated that there will be no immediate replacement.

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