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MTVN Promotes Two in Legal Department

MTV Networks Monday promoted both Andra Shapiro and George Cheeks to the newly created positions of executive vice president of business affairs and co-general counsel.

In their new roles, Shapiro and Cheeks will jointly oversee MTVN business and legal affairs under a new dual leadership structure. They will direct the company’s business- and legal-affairs strategy, policy and operations, as well as advise senior management on all legal and regulatory matters affecting the business.

“Andra and George have strategic legal minds and they are fervent advocates for our brands, our culture and our people,” MTVN chairman Judy McGrath said in a prepared statement. “I’m thrilled to have Andra and George in these new roles, bringing their extensive legal knowledge and expertise to bear across MTV Networks.”

Under the new structure, the business and legal functions of the MTVN Kids and Family Group, MTVN International, MTVN Content Distribution and Marketing and the MTVN Litigation and Intellectual Property Group will report directly to Shapiro.

The business and legal arms of the MTVN Music, Logo and Films Group, the MTVN Entertainment Group and MTVN Global Digital Media, as well as the MTVN Music Strategy Group, will report directly to Cheeks.

Shapiro and Cheeks will share responsibility for the Music and Media Licensing Group, as well as employment and labor.

In addition, Shapiro will retain her current title of executive VP of business affairs and general counsel, Nickelodeon and MTVN Kids and Family Group. Cheeks will keep his title of executive VP of business affairs and general counsel, MTVN Music and Entertainment Groups.

Both Shapiro and Cheeks will report to Rich Eigendorff, acting MTVN chief operating officer.

Shapiro joined MTVN in 1988 as counsel to VH1 before moving to Nickelodeon the following year and eventually rising through the ranks to be named executive VP of business affairs and general counsel, MTVN Kids and Family Group. Prior to joining MTVN, Shapiro was an associate with the law firm of Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman, where she specialized in copyright and trademark law.

Cheeks joined MTVN with Nickelodeon’s business and legal-affairs department in 1998 before switching groups and ultimately being promoted to executive VP and general counsel, MTVN Music, Logo and Films Group in January 2005.

Prior to joining MTVN, Cheeks served as VP of business affairs for Castle Rock Entertainment, as well as an entertainment attorney at the boutique entertainment firm of Hansen, Jacobson. He began his career as an entertainment associate at Loeb & Loeb.