Hours after Sean Atkins announced his departure as president of MTV, Viacom has named his replacement: Chris McCarthy, who already serves as president of two other Viacom networks, VH1 and Logo.
McCarthy will continue his oversight of VH1 and Logo, and will report to Doug Herzog, president of Viacom Music and Entertainment Group.
"Chris has infused every brand he's led with creativity, strategic clarity and distinctive talent—driving results that defy this extraordinarily competitive landscape," said Herzog in a statement. "MTV is an iconic brand full of opportunity, and Chris has demonstrated the vision and ability to grow its expansive reach and powerful cultural impact."
McCarthy was named GM of MTV2 in 2010, and added Logo in 2014. He was named GM of VH1 in July 2015, and was promoted to president of VH1 and Logo last June.
He replaces Atkins, who announced in a staff memo this morning that he was leaving, and would be staying on as an advisor through January. "This was in no way an easy decision for me," said Atkins. "You will all be in very good hands as I move on, I assure you." Sources said McCarthy's promotion had been in the works well before Atkins' memo.
Atkins' MTV reign was brief: He was hired in September 2015 to run MTV, MTV2 and mtvU. He helped revitalize the once-dominant MTV News brand, and put together an ambitious upfront slate, including the return of Unplugged and Cribs, to return the network's focus to music and reverse its ratings slide.
But the ratings turnaround never came; McCarthy, meanwhile, had worked ratings magic at VH1, which saw its biggest year-over-year ratings growth in almost 15 years. He revived America's Next Top Model (which started at VH1 before heading to UPN, which later became The CW) and the Hip Hop Honors franchise.
"I'm humbled by the opportunity to lead MTV, the place where I grew up and learned from some of the most gifted, creative and genuine leaders," said McCarthy in a statement. "The power of the MTV brand is its ability to let go of everything it knows and reinvent for the next generation of youth, and I'm excited to push the boundaries of what it can be in this transformative time."