New MTV President Sean Atkins has made key hires in his executive team, bringing in longtime Major League Baseball chief marketing offer Jacqueline Parkes as EVP of Marketing and Creative and Lifetime’s SVP and head of non-scripted Eli Lehrer as EVP overseeing MTV2.
Parkes, who was the first female CMO in professional sports, replaces longtime MTV marketing chief Tina Exharos, who left the company at the end of last year, while Lehrer is succeeding Chris McCarthy, who was named General Manager of VH1 last summer and also oversees Logo.
Additionally, two veteran Viacom executives are moving into new roles at MTV. Kristin Frank, formerly EVP of Connected Content for MTV and VH1, has been appointed EVP of Strategy, Revenue & Operations; while Erik Flannigan, formerly EVP at Viacom’s Music & Entertainment Group, will join MTV full-time in the newly created roll of EVP of Music/Events Strategy & Development. Parkes, Lehrer, Frank and Flannigan, who all will report to Atkins, join recent MTV executive hires, Michael Klein as EVP of Original Content and Laurel Weir as SVP of Strategic Insights and Research.
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“Jacqueline is a bona fide game-changer whose transformational brand leadership and fan engagement bridged pro baseball’s storied past with its innovative future,” said Atkins, adding, “Eli is one of the sharpest, most versatile and well-respected creative executives in the business.”
In her new role, Parkes, who left MLB earlier this month after a 21-year tenure, will be responsible for creative and marketing initiatives across MTV’s portfolio, including MTV, MTV2, mtvU, MTV Live, Digital and MTV News.
At Lifetime, Lehrer served as SVP and Head of Non-Fiction Programming since 2013 and was a contender for the head of programming post that went to Liz Gateley. There, Lehrer developed such series as The Rap Game, Bring It!, True Tori, the Little Women franchise, and oversaw Project Runway. Prior to joining Lifetime, Lehrer was VP of Development and Production at Bravo, where he developed The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Flipping Out, The Millionaire Matchmaker, The Rachel Zoe Project, Vanderpump Rules, and Watch What Happens: Live. This marks Lehrer’s return to the MTV family — early on, he served as a Manager of Development at MTV’s sister network VH1.
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