MTV president Christina Norman called it quits yesterday, announcing her decision at a council meeting. "Something about 'the company being in a good place,' but wanting some 'time for herself,'" a source said. In a longwinded email to staff, MTV Networks president Van Toffler extolled Norman's virtues, praising her as the "architect" of "VH1's rebirth" who "gave the world 'Celebreality,' along with 'Hip Hop Honors,'" which is very nearly as noble as curing cancer! You've got to hand it to Norman for surviving 17 years at MTV, where she started as a freelance production manager: "Yes, freelance," Toffler writes. See permalancers? You too could maybe possibly someday be a somebody! Yay! Just make sure you don't get sick, because then you're totally screwed. Full announcement after the jump.
From: Toffler, Van
Sent: Thursday, February 07, 2008 4:52 PM
Cc: McGrath, Judy
Subject: Christina Norman
I am writing to let you know that after 17 incredibly successful years, several brilliant reinventions, multiple VMA's and scores of memorable on-air promos and creative marketing campaigns, Christina Norman has made the decision to leave MTV at the end of the month.
Christina's mark on our company is indelible and it's worth noting that she reinvented herself and our businesses along the way. She grew from a freelance production manager (yes, freelance) to lead all of the marketing efforts for MTV, including the successful launch of MTV2. In 2002, she was tapped to architect VH1's rebirth, gave the world "Celebreality" along with "Hip Hop Honors", and shepherded the network to creative and ratings highs. She brought the same talent and vision when she returned to MTV as President, reinventing our big franchise events - The VMAs and The Movie Awards, ramping up new ways for us to partner with advertisers and worked with all of you to create and define the brand vision for MTV that inspired us and helped liberate our thinking. It pains me to see Christina go, but I respect her decision to want to take the time to explore something new after 17 years, which is pretty much impossible to even think about while running the M.
Christina has led with incredible integrity, creativity, business savvy, perspective, spirit and humor, and she has championed so many important initiatives at our company and in our culture. From the launch of "thinkMTV," to breathing new life into our music initiatives with novel ideas like "52 Bands," to the historic launch of MTV Tr3s, our network for young Hispanic-Americans, to the explosive growth of mtvU and the inspirational work she has done for our company's diversity and inclusion initiative, she has made it happen.
Christina is leaving MTV in its strongest, healthiest, most diverse and vibrant incarnation-MTV's celebrated 16 years as the #1 ad supported cable network for the 12-24 demo, and last year alone MTV.com served up almost one billion videos. And there is more to come in the pipeline from the great team that we have in place. In fact, Christina made it clear that MTV's current creative vibrancy and thriving business provided her with the perfect timing to explore something new. MTV has several TV hits cranking, the fastest selling video game with "Rock Band," and a rapidly growing collection of websites. We're positioned as an industry leader with an array of verticals and Emmy Award winning virtual worlds, and we're shaking up the 2008 elections with "Street Team '08." And may I remind you that Christina does not shy away from challenges - after all, she dared to take a bet to appear on national television with an eye patch, claiming a run-in with an unwieldy mascara wand as the reason for her questionable optical attire.
It has been my great honor to work with Christina and she will always be part of the legend and success of our company. We will miss her and I personally can't wait to see what incredible feat she will conquer next with the same class and tenacity she has exemplified during her many years here. I know you join me in wishing her the very best...