MTVN Names Digital Chief

NEW YORK MTV Networks has named Mika Salmi, the founder of Atom Entertainment—which the company acquired in August—to the newly created position of president of global digital media.

Salmi, who was most recently Atom’s acting CEO, will report to MTVN chairman and CEO Judy McGrath. Salmi is likely to take on many of the duties held by former MTVN chief digital officer Jason Hirschhorn, who left the company this summer.

Salmi is tasked with growing the company’s substantial portfolio of digital properties, such as MTV Overdrive and Virtual Laguna Beach, as well as recent acquisitions like Atom and Quizilla. (According to MTVN, the company now operates 30 broadband sites across the globe and ranks among the world’s leading mobile video content producers.)

The company is banking on Salmi’s experience at Atom Films, which had emerged as a popular destination for young-male-targeted short videos, to help the company engage with audience in the age of YouTube.

“Mika 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.”

Salmi said, “At Atom, we went through a lot of ups and downs. We had to be very nimble because things in this space keep moving. I hope to bring some of that mentality.”

Going forward, Salmi said the team behind Atom plan to work closely with Comedy Central and possibly share content between brands. In addition, the Shockwave.com segment of Atom, which produces and hosts online games, will explore synergies with MTVN properties.

Prior to launching Atom, Salmi led business development for the media and entertainment industries at RealNetworks.