MTV Names Weir Senior VP for Research

MTV, the struggling youth network, named Laurel Weir as senior VP, strategic insights and research.

She joins a new management team headed by Sean Atkins, who was named president last year. Earlier this week, Atkins named Michael Klein as executive VP of original content.

MTV is part of Viacom, which has become the poster child for cable network audiences shrinking as young viewers turn to digital alternatives for their entertainment. Many young viewers watching programming on smartphones and tablets aren’t included in the ratings, and as a result, Viacom’s ad revenue has declined more than other media companies.

Viacom has been making investments in areas including programming and research to try to reverse the trend.

Weir had been senior VP of strategic insights and research with the Viacom Kids and Family Group, overseeing research for TV Land, CMT and Nick at Night. She oversaw program, brand and consumer insights, as well as multiplatform analytics.

In her new post, Weir will report to Tanya Giles, executive VP, strategic insights and research for the Viacom Music and Entertainment Group and work closely with Atkins.

“Laurel is a passionate, endlessly curious strategist with a powerful ability to identify white spaces and drill to the core of what an audience wants and why,” said Giles. “We’re excited for MTV to gain the benefit of her insight and leadership as the network ramps up its slate of music and pop culture original programming.”

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.