Hiring Susanne Daniels apparently was not a decision made rashly by MTV in response to double-digit ratings declines. Parent Viacom wanted her to take
over programming at the network for some time, according to Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman.
“We hired a top, top programmer that we’ve been after for years,” he said in reference to bringing the executive on last month.
Daniels, now president of programming at MTV, had a successful run reaching a young female audience at the WB with shows like “Gilmore Girls” and “Dawson’s Creek.”
By one metric, MTV prime-time ratings in an 18- to-34 demo this season were down 34% in a C3 metric through the end of October.
MTV will be losing “Jersey Shore” soon, but new show “Catfish” has done well, Dauman said at an investor event Thursday. He added that Daniels will “only increase the pipeline.”
Separately, as broadcast networks struggle to retain viewers, Dauman said older-skewing Viacom networks such as TV Land, Nick at Nite and CMT have some runway with more programming investment.
“That’s an opportunity we’re going to focus on … because we have a much lower market share and that gives us an opportunity to take share away from other media companies as we grow in those demos," he said at an investor event Thursday.
Dauman added that Nickelodeon, where ratings have struggled, has seen some increases in recent weeks, helped by “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”
As for the ad market, Dauman said “the demand is there,” although there is “obviously macroeconomic uncertainty” with the so-called fiscal cliff issue still unsettled.
One area of potential growth is the auto sector, he said: “As the car companies are putting out smaller car models … automotive, which has been a small advertising category for us is now a fast-growing category as they try to appeal to younger audiences.”