Meet MTV's New Digital Guru

Atom Entertainment's Mika Salmi Makes a Good Impression on His New Bosses

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NEW YORK ( -- MTV Networks has upped Atom Entertainment CEO Mika Salmi to a new roll of president of global digital media, reporting directly to MTV Networks CEO Judy McGrath.
MTV's new president of global digital media, Mika Salmi
MTV's new president of global digital media, Mika Salmi

It didn't take long for Mr. Salmi to make a good impression on the network's senior management. Atom Entertainment was only acquired by MTV in August, when the media company shelled out $200 million for the video-sharing and casual-gaming company.

Driving revenue
"My job is about driving revenue, the full business," he said. And that includes advertising. Mr. Salmi pointed out that two years ago Atom Entertainment shifted its focus from subscription and e-commerce to advertising.

A priority for this role will be integrating all the digital media offerings from around the world -- MTV's user-generated play "Flux" in the U.K., said Mr. Salmi, goes "way beyond what Current is trying to do." He'll also be deeply involved in helping MTV Networks identify potential acquisitions, splitting his time between San Francisco and New York.

Absent from the release was mention of Chief Operating Officer Michael Wolf, who joined MTV Networks exactly a year ago and has lately been speaking to the company's digital strategy. An spokesman said Mr. Wolf leads business strategy and that the digital chief always reported to Ms. McGrath.

Promotion a surprise
Mr. Salmi insists he didn't know this was coming when MTV Networks acquired his company. "I really focused on closing the deal and getting the money in the bank," he said.

He's still in the process of naming his team, he said. Separate from that, the digital heads for each of the brands will also report to Mr. Salmi. And Nick Lehman, who was the interim head of digital media after former chief digital officer Jason Hirschhorn left in May, will be getting a promotion, said a spokesman, but didn't divulge his new title.
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