MTV’s Sean Atkins Steps Down

Network president resigns after one year
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In a surprise move, MTV president Sean Atkins has resigned his position one year after joining the network.

Atkins, who was behind the struggling network’s move back to its music roots, informed staffers Monday in an internal memo that he would be leaving the Viacom-owned network but would remain as a consultant on the transition through January in an advisory role.

Atkins, who was hired last September after coming over from Discovery Communications, vowed to make MTV more music-friendly as he looked to turn around the network’s ratings fortunes and to make the network more appealing to its core millennial audience. 

It is unclear who will replace Atkins as the head of MTV.

Atkins’ memo appears below:

I apologize for the shock to your Monday morning, but I have some news to share that will come as a surprise.  I have decided to step down from my post as President of MTV.  I’ll be consulting on the transition through January in an advisory role.

I will leave it to Doug to fill you in on the details, but suffice it to say this was in no way an easy decision for me.  This has been an incredibly enriching and rewarding experience, and I thank every single one of you for that.  I am so proud of what this team has accomplished together.  We’ve filled the creative pipeline with so many new projects and producers.  Amazing projects like Sweet/Vicious, Stranded with a Million Bucks, Signed and Going Off are just around the corner. We’ve moved aggressively to recapture music as our muse with projects like Made in Compton, Wonderland and Virtually Famous just to name a few. We’re taking the time and care to do smart thinking around the brand and vision for MTV, including bringing in new media and creative agencies to back our new brand campaign.  We’ve continued to invest into our future with the successful growth of our Snapchat Discover channel, social footprint and MTV News.  And we’ve continued to be an incredible social voice with our Elect This campaign and launch of our new documentary unit.  This tremendous creative effort is a recipe for success and it will pay off.

I’m so deeply impressed with the team here and so grateful to have been part of it.  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.

Thank you so much, and a special word of thanks to my incredible senior team, for pushing and inspiring me every day.

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. 

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