MTV Networks Names Hank Close President of Ad Sales

Move Ends Talk as to Who Would Replace Larry Divney

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NEW YORK (Adage.com) -- Hank Close's reward for battling through the toughest cable upfront since 2001? A president's title. Mr. Close was elevated yesterday to president-ad sales at Viacom's MTV Networks, the position formerly held by Larry Divney. This is the second time Mr. Close has essentially succeeded Mr. Divney.
Hank Close was promoted to president of ad sales for MTV Networks.
Hank Close was promoted to president of ad sales for MTV Networks.

A No. 2 to Divney
Mr. Divney retired in June 2004 from president of Comedy Central only to return to MTV Networks in October of that year as president-ad sales and then retired a second time April 1 of this year. Mr. Close was previously exec VP-ad sales at Comedy Central -- effectively Mr. Divney's No. 2 -- before becoming exec VP-ad sales for MTV Networks' Music/Comedy/Logo Group in February 2005.

For the better part of the year rumors swirled -- both inside and outside of MTV Networks -- about who would replace Mr. Divney. Ad agency CEOs as well as sales heads for major web portals were floated. MTV Networks was said to be looking for someone with digital media "gravitas," people close to the matter told Ad Age.

Sue Danaher out
But in the spring, MTV Networks had said Mr. Close and Sue Danaher, who led sales for Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, The N, TV Land and Spike, would share that duty. Yesterday, the company announced Ms. Danaher was leaving.

Mr. Close will report into MTV Networks Chief Operating Officer Michael Wolf, who said in a statement: "Hank has skillfully mined new opportunities and championed innovative multiplatform solutions that helped MTVN outperform the market in this year's upfront."
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