A month after MTV Networks’ top distribution executives, Nicole Browning and Peter Low, exited the company, MTVN today named Denise Dahldorf as its top distribution executive.
Dahldorf, who was promoted to EVP of affilate sales at MTVN and BET Networks (from SVP affiliate sales and marketing, national accounts) now reports to acting COO Rich Eigendorff.
She takes over the top spot from previous affiliate sales and marketing boss Browning, who was president of ASM, and Low, MTVN’s former EVP in charge of U.S. cable distribution, both of whom left in a Viacom-triggered shake-up on Jan. 11 that also saw COO Michael Wolf exit.
Her promotion was announced on the same day that MTV Networks chairman and CEO Judy McGrath announced a company-wide downsizing and repositioning that will cut about 250 MTVN staffers in the U.S. by the end of this week as the company focuses more on new business and digital opportunities.
McGrath’s memo to staffers today stated, in part, "In the U.S. we will build resources against some new businesses—our interactive properties and some of our new networks—and we will make reductions in others."
McGrath added: "Our industry is at an inflection point and many companies are going through the process of adapting their business models and organizations to the new realities." (Gawker posts McGrath’s full memo here).
A Financial Times report (via MSN) noted: "Viacom executives hope to share production, legal, human resources and other staff among those various networks so that they can pour more money into new initiatives, such as mobile phones, websites and its new MTV Tres channel, aimed at US Hispanics." Saturday’s New York Post had estimated the looming job cuts at 500 positions, with Viacom potentially closing some international channels.
Dahldorf, a mother of four, is well versed in multiplatform and digital distribution. Among other non-linear deals, she helped craft a test last fall of dynamic ad insertion with Lawrence, KS-based cable operator Sunflower Broadband and ad agency Mediaedge:CIA that used MTVN’s video on demand content.
Her promotion was praised in statements by McGrath and BETN’s Debra Lee.
“Denise is a skilled negotiator and a passionate advocate for our multiplatform portfolio of brands,” said McGrath. “Having someone with her expertise leading our distribution efforts ensures that as many people can enjoy and connect with our content, in as many homes and on as many screens as possible.”
“We are extremely excited about working with the team under Denise’s leadership,” said Lee, chairman and CEO, BET Networks. “Not only is she an exceptional dealmaker, but she really understands the power and relevance of all of the brands within BET Networks’ portfolio.”