People/Biz

MTV’s Sean Atkins to exit as president

Sean Atkins is stepping down from his role as MTV president after joining the millennial-skewing music network a little more than one year ago. Atkins (pictured) was chosen by Doug Herzog, president ...
October 24, 2016

Sean Atkins is stepping down from his role as MTV president after joining the millennial-skewing music network a little more than one year ago.

Atkins (pictured) was chosen by Doug Herzog, president of Viacom Music and Entertainment Group, to replace Stephen Friedman last October. Since then he’s been responsible for overseeing all creative and business operations for the brand and sister networks MTV2 and mtvU.

During his tenure, Atkins oversaw the network’s rebrand by committing to live music and music-inspired programming such as Made in Compton, Wonderland and Virtually Famous, as well as forthcoming series Stranded with a Million Dollars, Signed and Going Off.

Atkins also oversaw the launch of MTV’s Snapchat Discovery channel, the MTV News reboot and the founding of MTV Docs, the net’s documentary unit.

He will remain with the broadcaster in an advisory role to consult on the transition through January. A replacement has yet to be named, but is expected in the coming weeks.

Prior to MTV, Atkins served as GM and exec VP of digital media and strategy for Discovery Communications, where he was responsible for driving the company’s original online video strategy and networks, including Revision3, SourceFed, Discovery News and TestTube. He was primarily responsible for Discovery’s acquisition of the digital video content firm Revision3 in 2012.

“I’m so deeply impressed with the team here and so grateful to have been part of it,” said Atkins in a staff email obtained by realscreen. “You have unbelievable drive and dedication, unstoppable creative passion and are relentlessness in attacking challenges from every possible angle. This speaks volumes about the amazing MTV culture and your commitment to this brand.

“You will all be in very good hands as I move on, I assure you. And I promise I will be watching and cheering as you continue to build up from the great foundation we created together.”

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.

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