MTV SPLITS CONTENT CREATORS INTO TWO CAMPS

One for Network Shows and One for Emerging Platforms

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- With media content and distribution busily remaking themselves every day, MTV is reorganizing to keep up.

The new order for MTV will divide operations into two integrated camps. One will create short-form video, music and news content for traditional TV as well as the Web, video on demand, wireless and other emerging venues; the other will stay focused on long-term network franchises like "TRL" or "The Real World."

The new order for MTV will divide operations into two integrated camps, one to create short-form content for emerging venues; the other will stay focused on long-term network franchises like "TRL" or "The Real World."

The idea is to elevate new-model functions -- like developing content for delivery to cellphones -- to the plane now occupied by the usual programming functions of a cable TV franchise. And it takes place as VH1, another unit of MTV Networks within Viacom, is building content designed to suit a variety of platforms under the direction of Michael Hirschorn, exec VP-original programming and production.

'Old Viacom'
Both MTV and VH1 are under pressure to deliver notable growth now that "Old Viacom" has split into the new Viacom and CBS Corp., with Viacom expected to deliver the most expansion. Nickelodeon, another MTV Networks unit, faces a new pressure of its own: the threat of a $1 billion lawsuit from consumer groups and two Boston-area parents accusing the kids’ network of unfair and deceptive junk-food marketing. Nickelodeon has said that it is an acknowledged leader in encouraging children to live healthfully.

"We realized that the business dynamics of television, which is very linear-focused and ratings-focused, may well be different than the business and creative models of some of these emerging platforms," said Brian Graden, president-entertainment, MTV Networks Music Group, and president, MTV Networks' Logo channel.

MTV Overdrive
"TRL," the long-running daily TV program, performs very well for MTV, Mr. Graden said, but its live performances receive huge attention as individual on-demand segments on MTV Overdrive, the network’s broadband Web site. "How you succeed has turned out to be different in each universe," he said.

MTV’s new short-form operations will report to Dave Sirulnick, who was named exec VP-MTV multiplatform production, news and music; he had been exec VP-news and production. The linear-TV operations, devoted primarily to half-hour and one-hour shows, will report to Lois Curren, who was named exec VP-MTV series entertainment and programming; she had been exec VP-sales development and oversaw West Coast TV development only. Both report to Mr. Graden.

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