MTV shuffles ad sales department

Hank Close will step down at end of 2008

MTV Networks ad sales prexy Hank Close will step down at the end of the year when his contract expires.

In separate memos released to MTV staff Thursday, CEO Judy McGrath described Close’s departure as voluntary while outlining a new reporting structure for the company’s ad sales efforts.

Jeff Lucas, exec VP of ad sales for the entertainment group, will report directly to MTV Networks prexy Doug Herzog; Sean Moran, exec VP of sales for the music and logo group, will report to group prexy Van Toffler; and Jim Perry, exec VP of ad sales for the kids and family group, will report to unit topper Cyma Zarghami.

“To ensure that we’re in the best position going forward, we will more closely align our ad sales structure to our powerful brands,” wrote McGrath, noting that the company would still maintain its centralized ad sales operation.

To that end, McGrath also announced the promotion of Carolyn Everson to exec VP and chief operating officer of ad sales, reporting to MTV COO Rich Eigendorff. Everson will continue to oversee the company’s centralized ad sales efforts, including strategy, operations and finance. She’ll also oversee MTV’s Generator unit, which specializes in multiplatform purchases for advertisers.

McGrath added that Nada Stirratt, exec VP of digital advertising, will now report to Eigendorff as well.

And in her memo announcing Close’s departure, McGrath highlighted the four-year MTV veteran’s performance, noting that, “Under Hank’s leadership, MTV Networks redefined our relationships with major marketers in every category — from Microsoft to Verizon and Rhapsody, among many others.”