Viacom has hired Sean Atkins as the new president of its MTV division, the ratings-challenged network group that has struggled to shift its business as younger viewers abandon traditional television. Atkins was most recently general manager and EVP of digital media and strategy at Discovery Communications.
He succeeds Stephen Friedman, who had been president of MTV since 2008. Viacom has faced persistent ratings declines at MTV and its stable of cable television networks, including. Ratings across Viacom’s bundle of networks, including Nickelodeon, VH1 and Spike, declined about 18 per cent during the quarter that ended in June, and domestic advertising revenue fell nine percent in the same quarter.