There is another top executive change at MTV. I’ve learned that 28-year MTV veteran Tina Exarhos is leaving her post as EVP Marketing and Creative at the network. She will be succeeded by Joe Ortiz, SVP Strategy & Creative, MTV On-Air Promotions. Doug Herzog, President of Viacom Music and Entertainment Group, just announced the head of marketing change in an internal email (You can read it below the post).
While the executive move comes on the heels of the changeover at the top of MTV last month when Sean Atkins replaced network veteran Stephen Friedman as president, I hear Exarhos had given notice several months ago, something Herzog references in the memo. It is the latest high profile departure at the network, following the July exit of MTV programming boss Susanne Daniels. The string of changes started in February when Herzog took over MTV in a Viacom corporate restructuring that saw MTV Networks exec Van Toffler exit.
As head of marketing at MTV, Exarhos oversaw all marketing and creative development for MTV, including short-form interstitial content, visual packaging, digital and social marketing, and consumer and trade advertising. She spearheaded the 2010 redesign of the MTV logo and ran creative marketing and design for MTV’s signature live events the MTV Video Music Awards and the MTV Movie Awards, including the recent, innovative cross-platform campaign with host Miley Cyrus to promote the 2015 VMAs. She is also responsible for the on- and off-channel marketing and branding of MTV, MTV2, mtvU and MTV.com.
Exarhos, who joined MTV in its press department in 1986, also oversaw campaigns for MTV’s scripted and unscripted series including Skins, Teen Wolf, Awkward, Faking It, Catfish: The TV Show and Teen Mom as well as recently launched Scream.
Here is Herzog’s memo:
After 28 years with MTV, my good friend Tina Exarhos will be leaving the company at the end of the year. Tina and I have talked about it a lot over the past few months and, with new leadership coming in, she sees a great opportunity to pass the baton, move on from the brand she helped build, and pursue a new adventure that we will be hearing about shortly. Over the next few months, Tina will work with Sean Atkins on a transition plan, and will hand off leadership of the Marketing team to Joe Ortiz.
As many of you know, Tina and I go way back. We were colleagues at MTV when we were babies, and we’ve been friends for just as long. It all came full circle when I landed back in the MTV universe earlier this year. I sat down with Tina and her team and they took me through some of their recent work. I was impressed – it was sophisticated, creative, and, more than anything, very MTV.
That’s the story of Tina’s career. Through every change in culture and our audience, Tina has always stayed a step ahead, evolving her own skills, the department and its work to keep the MTV brand relevant. With the Millennials at MTV’s doorstep, she spearheaded a bold redesign of the MTV logo in 2010 that put the audiences’ faces at the center of the brand. When the network made the decision to double down on scripted, she directed provocative campaigns for series like “Teen Wolf,” “Finding Carter,” and “Scream.” When social transformed how we engaged audiences, she championed 365-day marketing strategies to keep audiences hooked between seasons.
Over the years, her team’s campaigns have delivered viewers to some of MTV’s most famous and infamous moments at the VMAs and Movie Awards. Their creative has elevated so many of the brand’s award-winning pro-social campaigns, from “A Thin Line” to “Look Different.” Look at any of MTV’s historic launches – from “The Real World” to “Yo! MTV Raps,” “Beavis & Butt-head” to “Jackass,” to “Jersey Shore,” to one of her greatest passions – “Choose or Lose” – and you’ll find Tina’s name in the credits.
That’s a hall of fame resume. But, behind the list of accomplishments and accolades, there’s the Tina that I and many of you know – funny, warm, full of integrity and passion about great people and creative, lover of great ideas and great music. It’s no surprise that she leaves us with an excellent team that won’t miss a beat. Her love for this brand and its people are a big reason why she’s been one of its driving creative forces.
Please join me in thanking Tina for everything she’s given to MTV, and wishing her the very best of luck.