Cyma Zarghami

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Cyma Zarghami
Born (1962-12-15) December 15, 1962 (age 57)
NationalityIranian, American
OccupationFormer president of Nickelodeon & Viacom Media Networks
Years active2006–2018 (president of Nickelodeon)
EmployerViacom Media Networks (Viacom)
Spouse(s)George Obergfoll

Cyma Zarghami (Persian: سیما ضرغامی‎, born December 15, 1962) is an Iranian American cable television executive who served as the president of Nickelodeon and Viacom Media Networks Kids & Family Group from 2006 to 2018.

Early life[edit]

Zarghami was born in Abadan, Iran to an Iranian father, Gholam, and a Scottish mother, Catherine.[1] The family later moved to Canada and finally to Englewood, New Jersey, where she graduated in the class of 1980 from the Dwight-Englewood School and was a recipient of the school's Distinguished Alumni Award.[2] At Dwight-Englewood, she played lacrosse.[3][4]

In 1980, Zarghami entered the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vermont as an elementary education major, but later changed her major to English. She ultimately did not complete her degree, but was later awarded an honorary diploma by the University of Vermont College of Education and Social Services in 2000.[4]


Zarghami traveled in Europe after leaving college, then returned to Burlington to work for Business Digest.[4]


Zarghami joined Nickelodeon as a scheduling clerk in 1985. She moved up through the programming department and became the channel's general manager in 1996, overseeing programming, scheduling, acquisitions, marketing, and day-to-day management of the network. Zarghami was promoted to general manager and executive vice-president in 1997.[5]

In 2004, the position of president of Nickelodeon Television was created for Zarghami, where she oversaw production and development for the network, along with marketing, programming and creativity.[6] After the resignation of Herb Scannell on January 5, 2006, Zarghami became president of the newly formed Kids & Family Group, which included Nickelodeon, Nick@Nite, Nick Jr., TeenNick, Nicktoons, TV Land, CMT, and CMT Pure Country.[7]

On June 4, 2018, Zarghami resigned as president of Nickelodeon and retired, after being with the network for 33 years.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Zarghami lives in New York City with her husband George Obergfoll, a stage manager, and their three sons.[9] She formerly served on the board of the Children's Museum of Manhattan.[2]


  1. ^ Rezaei, Shabnam (June 28, 2010). "From TV to the future of Digital Children's Entertainment". Archived from the original on 2010-09-25. Retrieved November 23, 2012.
  2. ^ a b "SpongeBob loves Cyma Zarghami: Iranian woman understands what American kids want—and she gives it to them". Iran Times International. March 20, 2009.
  3. ^ Sellers, Patricia (October 11, 1996). "The Women of Viacom". Fortune. Retrieved January 31, 2009.
  4. ^ a b c "Twenty-year plan". Vermont Quarterly. 2000. Retrieved January 31, 2009.
  5. ^ "Nick ups four to exec VP posts". Variety. November 5, 1997. Retrieved November 23, 2008.
  6. ^ Oei, Lily (January 6, 2004). "Zarghami named Nick TV prez". Variety. Retrieved November 23, 2008.
  7. ^ Dempsey, John (January 4, 2006). "Scannell changes channel". Variety. Retrieved November 23, 2008.
  8. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (June 4, 2018). "Cyma Zarghami Stepping Down As President Of Nickelodeon Group". Deadline. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  9. ^ Souccar, Mariam Kreinin (September 11, 2014). "Students who reverse commute". Crain's New York Business.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Herb Scannell
Nickelodeon president
Succeeded by
Brian Robbins