EXCLUSIVE: Former Change.org executive Brianna Cayo Cotter has been named SVP of Social Impact for MTV and its suite of brands. Reporting to Chris McCarthy, President of MTV, VH1, CMT & Logo Media, she will lead the network’s Social Impact team that includes VP Noopur Agarwal and Director Rachael Wall.
Cayo Cotter was the driving force behind high-profile campaigns that expanded paid family leave for millions of workers, overturned the ban on gay boy scouts, and mobilized hundreds of thousands of young voters to elevate climate change issues.
“Our audience has always been at the forefront of driving change,” said McCarthy. “Generation Z has made it clear that they’re ready to transform our world for the better and Brianna is a leader ready to support them in unleashing that power.”
MTV’s track record of social impact initiatives includes multiple Peabody and Emmy award-winning campaigns such as “Choose or Lose” with Rock the Vote that expanded access to voter registration to 16 and Pregnant, the unscripted franchise credited with reducing teen birth rates by the National Bureau of Economic Research. In 2017, the MTV Movie and TV Awards introduced genderless categories. And, when young people across the country participated in the National School Walkout, MTV went dark for 17 minutes to honor the gun violence victims at Parkland.
“I am so excited to join a brand that boldly and artfully marries my favorite things: social change, storytelling, and culture,” said Cayo Cotter. “MTV and its brands shaped my understanding of the world as a young activist, and I cannot wait to find new and fresh ways to engage this next wave of inspiring young people who want to make an impact.”
Below is McCarthy’s note to staff announcing Cayo Cotter’s hire.
We have some exciting news to share about our Social Impact team.
Our brands resonate so strongly around the world because we strike the perfect balance between providing great entertainment and making a difference – from celebrating diversity to fighting adversity. That success is due in large part to the Social Impact team, specifically the great work that Noopur Agarwal, Rachael Wall, Max Zorick, Ruhi Bhalla, Kim Hoyos and Ellen Crowley undertake every day.
We know conversations can lead to a movement, which is why we are pleased to announce that Brianna Cayo Cotter has joined us as SVP, Social Impact for MTV, VH1, CMT and Logo.
Brianna has a deep and impressive résumé in leading national action campaigns. From spearheading a groundbreaking initiative for PL+US that achieved paid family leave for more than six million U.S. workers in under two years to elevating the national outcry to end the ban on gay Boy Scouts to helping survivors change dated sexual assault laws. You can read more about her accomplishments in the attached press release.
Since its inception, MTV has built a deep relationship with our audience of more than a billion people around the world by amplifying the issues that are important to them. With Brianna’s extensive experience and unwavering passion for igniting change, she is the perfect person to lead the charge.
Please welcome Brianna to the family!