First Mover: Stephen Friedman

MTV’s new president worships his audience, loves social media, and defends the Situation

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Adweek: When you came in, what was working at MTV and what wasn’t?
Stephen Friedman: Two and a half years ago, we were still programming for Generation X, when this massive wave—the biggest generation in history, the millennials—had come into our demo. So we needed to shed our skin.

AW: How?
SF: One of the most powerful examples we’ve seen is Sixteen and Pregnant. And then Teen Mom. It’s not so different from the DNA of [MTV documentary series] True Life.

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