Research Guru Betsy Frank Leaves Viacom

Research guru Betsy Frank is leaving Viacom after eight years. Frank, who headed the MTV Networks research department before taking a corporate strategy role last year, is leaving after her duties were limited in the company's restructuring.

After the split last week into Viacom and CBS, three of the business units in which Frank had a role--Simon & Schuster, Showtime, and the Sundance Channel--became part of CBS.

Frank is the second top MTVN executive to leave in a matter of days--Herb Scannell, MTVN vice chairman and Nickelodeon Networks president, is the other--although a company spokesperson said the moves are unrelated.

Frank is expected to continue in a consulting role in the near term, in part to help MTVN develop its upfront strategy.

At MTVN, Frank was instrumental in developing new approaches to research on youth media consumption. Frank's corporate role at Viacom involved broad-based research into consumer attitudes and media behavior across multiple platforms.



Colleen Fahey Rush replaced Frank as MTVN research chief last year.

A visible spokesperson on the role of media, Frank disputed the notion that a decline in the linear television business model was imminent at a September panel discussion: "Cable was supposed to kill broadcast TV, the remote control was going to kill advertising, and the Internet and video games would be the end of TV. So far, they've been adopted, they all co-exist, and people are consuming more of everything."

Before joining MTVN, Frank was a leading media forecaster on Madison Avenue at Zenith Media and Dancer Fitzgerald Sample.

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