MTV Closes Chapter On Ad Sales Saga, Names Close

Making good on its promise to fill its top ad sales position after the upfront period, MTV Networks promoted Hank Close to president of U.S. advertising sales at MTV Networks.

At the same time, MTV also announced the departure of its other highest-ranking senior ad executive Sue Danaher, executive vice president and general sales manager for Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, The N, TV Land and Spike.

Close--who had been executive vice president, ad sales, MTVN Music/Comedy/Logo Group since February 2005--will fill the position held by Larry Divney. Divney left his full-time position as president before the start of the upfront--but continued in a consulting role through the upfront period. At that time, MTV said it was in no rush to find his replacement.

Close will be responsible for managing MTV Network's entire U.S. sales organization for the company's linear and digital networks. He will continue to report to Michael Wolf, President and COO, MTV Networks.

Close and Danaher represented the two most senior advertising executives at MTV Networks. The company would not comment whether Danaher's departure was related to the promotion of Close to MTV. Danaher's position will not be replaced.

Both Nickelodeon and MTV Networks struggled this upfront season in a severely weakened TV ad marketplace that forced all cable networks to reassess their upfront revenue goals. Many networks were forced to lower the cost per thousand viewers (CPM) pricing by up to 4 percent to 5 percent.