Stephen Friedman joins MTV

New general manager replaces Norman

MTV has appointed Stephen Friedman general manager of its flagship channel, replacing Christina Norman, who ankled her post earlier in February.

Reporting to MTV Networks music, Logo and films group topper Van Toffler, Friedman will oversee daily operations and strategy for MTV, along with platform offshoots, MTV2, MTV Tr3s, MTV Hits and MTV Jams. He’ll also maintain his responsibilities at college-based network MTVU, where he has served as general manager and exec VP since 2003.

Under Friedman’s watch, distribution of MTVU has jumped 70% and the number of sponsors has quintupled.

Friedman joined MTV in 1998, founding the company’s strategic partnerships and public affairs department. In that position, he was credited with developing marketing campaigns that led to Emmy and Peabody awards for MTV.

Friedman is taking the reigns at MTV during a ratings rough patch. The channel’s viewership was down 18% overall in the third quarter, spearheading a 2% overall drop in ad revenue for parent company Viacom during the period.

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