MTV Int’l rocks & roll execs

Unit sees increases in revs; 7 posts filled

This article was corrected on July 9, 2003.

MTV’s international arm, the fastest-growing unit in the Viacom fold, is making key shifts in its senior management team and will unveil seven new roles today, all of them internal promotions.

The moves are “the most important organizational changes we’ve ever made,” MTV Networks Intl. prexy Bill Roedy told Daily Variety, suggesting the appointments would help the Viacom unit leverage its localized operations abroad and better exploit opportunities on a global basis.

After 15 years, MTV boasts 76 channels in 170 countries worldwide, including multimedia brands MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1, the Music Factory and newcomer Game-One.

Internationally, MTV has been on a tear, with a 40% increase in earnings before tax and a 26% hike in ad sales in 2002, despite sluggish economies in Europe and Latin America. Already this year MTVNI has launched 11 products, including a round-the-clock MTV channel in China and a gaming channel in France.

Rev increases seen

Roedy said the unit is tracking 15% – 20% increases in revenues so far this year and is stealing noticeable market share from established broadcasters in several key territories.

MTV was one of the first U.S. brands to radically localize its efforts abroad on a country-by-country basis. The music video channel is also well-known abroad for its attempts to tackle political issues relevant to young people.

A key upcoming special features Nelson Mandela speaking with young victims of AIDS, oppression and terrorism and will air on the South African leader’s 85th birthday July 18. The idea now, Roedy said, is to take some of these local programming (and advertising) ideas and reconfigure them on a regional or global scale.

The key to the company’s next phase, he added, is to be “more cohesive both creatively and commercially.”

The new roles in Roedy’s management team are:

  • Alex Ferrari has been promoted to chief operating officer of MTVNI. Ferrari comes from the U.S. side of the company, where he was chief financial officer of MTV Networks. He recently was responsible for putting together a $75 million, three-year pact with Motorola to produce content for the unit’s worldwide feeds.

    Ferrari told Daily Variety his emphasis will be on upping “the scope and scale” of MTV’s foreign operations.

  • Brent Hansen has been upped to the newly created post of president of creative, MTVNI. He will remain president-CEO of MTVN Europe.

    One of his tasks, per Roedy, will be to maximize relationships and talent from the domestic U.S. operations and, conversely, to help make U.S. product more appealing abroad.

  • Jonathan Patrick has taken on the additional role of senior VP, Global Marketing Partnerships, a newly created entity in MTVNI. He will remain general sales director, advertising sales Europe, MTVN Europe.

  • Michael Day has taken on the newly created position of senior VP, finance, MTVNI. He will continue in his domestic role as senior VP, finance, MTVN, overseeing corporate finance functions.

  • Glenna Patton has assumed an additional role as senior VP, marketing and communications, MTVNI.

  • Alina Vogtner has taken on the newly created post of senior VP, human resources, MTVNI. She will remain senior VP, human resources and administration, for the Latin America subsidiary.

  • Rebecca Barrs has taken on an additional role as VP, marketing and consumer products, MTVNI.

In commenting on the appointments, Roedy said, “Alex’s and Brent’s new roles, alongside the other positions, reflect the rising level of our management expertise and are a significant endorsement of the growth and momentum of our business.”

Managing growth

A 21-year MTVN vet, Ferrari will be charged with managing the company’s strategic growth and development as well as day-to-day operations. Based in NewYork, Ferrari will report to Roedy.

Hansen is charged with leveraging the breadth of creative talent within the organization and identifying programming opportunities for MTVNI’s lineup of localized TV channels and Web sites. He works in cooperation with the company’s U.S. operations in the programming and original series development process. Hansen continues to report to Roedy and remains based in London.

Patrick will lead MTVNI’s newly named ad sales group – Global Marketing Partnerships — working in cooperation with the regional ad sales teams in Latin America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. Patrick will report to Ferrari and remain based in London.

Eye toward growth

In his new role, Day is charged with helping to steer MTVNI from a financial perspective as the company gears up for aggressive growth in both content and distribution. In this capacity, Day will report to Ferrari and remain based in New York.

In her expanded role, Patton will partner with MTV local and regional marketing teams on global MTV channel and music marketing efforts. She also is charged with supporting the Global Marketing Partnerships team. Patton will continue to report to Roedy and to be London-based.

In her additional HR role, Vogtner will spearhead the development of the first human resources office dedicated to MTVNI’s teams based in London, Los Angeles, Miami and New York. Based in Miami, Vogtner will report to Ferrari.

Licensing concerns

In her expanded role, Barrs will manage all marketing and strategic development for MTVNI’s licensing and merchandising in Canada, Asia-Pacific and Latin America. She’ll continue to report to International Program Enterprises exec VP Kathleen Hricik and will remain based in New York.

MTVNI channel brands are seen in 375 million households in 164 countries and in 18 languages.

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