Salmi to MTV, Spiers to Supper Table

On October 27, Dealbreaker.com moved on the rumor that "the new head of MTV [Ed.—as in the channel] will be Mika Salmi, who is currently the CEO of Atom Entertainment (a recent MTV acquisition)." So confident were they that 'breaker-in-Chief Elizabeth Spiers promised, if the rumor proved false, to eat her blog. Well, the following memo just came over the transom:

MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B), today announced that Mika Salmi has been named President of Global Digital Media for MTVN. In this newly created position, Salmi will work across MTVN's growing portfolio of multiplatform brands to further develop and implement the company's strategy of building an engaging universe of music, games, entertainment, networking and interactivity for its communities of targeted audiences. Salmi was formerly CEO of Atom Entertainment, the company he founded and which was acquired by MTVN in August. He will report directly to Judy McGrath, Chairman and CEO, MTVN, and will become a member of her senior strategy team.

We'd suggest pairing Dealbreaker with a nice Petite Syrah. This is why we hardly ever stand behind anything we report; it always comes back to bite you in the ass.

Full memo after the jump.

MTV Networks Appoints Mika Salmi, President,
Global Digital Media, to Lead Company's MultiPlatform Efforts

New York, Nov. 1, 2006-MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B), today announced that Mika Salmi has been named President of Global Digital Media for MTVN. In this newly created position, Salmi will work across MTVN's growing portfolio of multiplatform brands to further develop and implement the company's strategy of building an engaging universe of music, games, entertainment, networking and interactivity for its communities of targeted audiences. Salmi was formerly CEO of Atom Entertainment, the company he founded and which was acquired by MTVN in August. He will report directly to Judy McGrath, Chairman and CEO, MTVN, and will become a member of her senior strategy team.

"Mika is a digital media veteran, and he is recognized for building innovative video and gaming assets online. He understands what it takes to create that addictive, immersive online experience, and at the same time, build a valuable brand," said McGrath. "I am incredibly pleased to have his talent and leadership experience on board to lead our digital media transformation, worldwide. With Mika's guidance, our digital teams will continue the momentum we have today, to extend our brands across every platform while creating new business, and next generation applications across every device that engages our community. And he brings that upbeat entrepreneurial spirit that is a hallmark of the digital age."

"MTV Networks is an amazing global entertainment community reaching targeted audiences through all of its TV, online and mobile brands," said Salmi. "What MTVN calls its 'maniacal consumer focus' will be the driving engine for our Global Digital Media strategy. We will engage consumers with an industry-leading digital experience through interactivity and community in all media including video, music and games."

MTV Networks is strongly positioned to accelerate its multiplatform strategy and deepen its reach across the digital space. The company has made strong moves in serving young adult consumers through its global acquisitions activity and community and gaming assets, with NeoPets, GameTrailers, Xfire; Y2M, the largest network of online U.S. college newspapers; user-generated content and networking through IFILM, MTV Flux, The Click from The N, MTV's Virtual Laguna Beach, Nickelodeon's ParentsConnect; and original broadband and wireless content across all the brands.
MTVN also has recognized its global audiences' expanding interests and has actively acquired a significant number of relevant businesses. Most recently, the company announced its acquisitions of Quizilla, an online teen community site, and Harmonix Music Systems, a leader in music-oriented video games.
MTVN currently has 30 broadband sites and is the leading mobile video content producer in the world. The company also has made its content readily available for download to own through deals with AOL, Amazon, Apple and Google. From the combination of MTVN's own web sites and its acquired businesses, the company registered close to 35 million unique users in September 2006, and ranked as the number-one online entertainment destination and the 10th most popular overall destination on the Web (comScore Media Metrix September 2006, U.S. only).
Salmi founded Atom Entertainment in 1998 with its first brand AtomFilms, after recognizing early on that the emergence of new digital technologies would forever change the production and distribution of entertainment. After establishing itself as a leading next-generation entertainment company, AtomFilms merged with Shockwave.com in early 2001 to form Atom Entertainment, Inc. Today, the company's consumer services (Shockwave.com, AtomFilms, AddictingClips and AddictingGames) comprise a portfolio of leading online destinations for games, short films and video audiences on the Internet.

Prior to creating Atom Entertainment, Salmi led business development for the media and entertainment industries at RealNetworks. He also spent eight years in the music business, working for TVT Records, Sony Music and EMI Music, where he discovered bands such as Nine Inch Nails and Presidents of the United States of America. Salmi was born in Finland and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Wisconsin, later earning his MBA from INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France.

MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. MTV Networks, with more than 130 channels worldwide, owns and operates the following television programming services - MTV: MUSIC TELEVISION, MTV2, VH1, mtvU, NICKELODEON, NICK at NITE, COMEDY CENTRAL, TV LAND, SPIKE TV, CMT, NOGGIN, VH1 CLASSIC, LOGO, MTVN INTERNATIONAL and THE DIGITAL SUITE FROM MTV NETWORKS, a package of 13 digital services, with all of these networks trademarks of MTV Networks. MTV Networks connects with its audiences through its robust consumer products businesses and its more than 100 interactive properties worldwide, including GameTrailers.com, IFILM, Neopets, Xfire, Y2M, and online, broadband, wireless and interactive television services. MTV Networks also has licensing agreements, joint ventures, and syndication deals whereby all of its programming services can be seen worldwide.

Earlier: Mika Salmi to Head MTV?