Amani Duncan has been named senior vice president of music for Viacom’s MTV, and will work to develop music-industry relationships and well as music content for the popular cable netework and its associated media properties. She will report to both Chris McCarthy, president of MTV, VH1 and Logo, and Bruce Gillmer, who heads music and music talent for Viacom’s Global Entertainment Group.
“Amani has an incredible track record in creating partnerships between artists and brands that allow both to shine and deliver something new for audiences,” said McCarthy, in a prepared statement. “From the VMAs to Unplugged, giving artists a platform to connect with fans in unique ways is core to the MTV brand, and we’re excited for Amani to help build on that legacy.”
Duncan has a history with MTV. She helped pair Jay-Z and The Roots for a 2001 appearance on MTV Unplugged,” the second hip hop performance in the series’ history. She has also worked to secure artists for MTV series and specials over the years, including the “MTV Video Music Awards,” “TRL,” “MTV Cribs,” “MTV Diary,” and “mtvU’s Campus Invasion” tours.
Duncan previously served as vice president of brand marketing for C.F. Martin & Co., Inc., the acoustic-instrument manufacturer, where she built a new artists’ relations program. She began her career at Def Jam Records before moving on to roles at Virgin Records and Capitol Music Group. She once served as chief marketing officer for Bad Boy Entertainment Worldwide. During her career, she has built alliances between artists and a wide range of marquee brands, including Ace Hotels, Burton Snowboards, Champion, Chase, and Southwest Airlines.
Viacom is in the midst of trying to lend new momentum to MTV, once its flagship property. McCarthy was named to head the unit last year, the third person to be placed in charge of the operation over the past 16 months.