Van Toffler, President, MTV Networks Music/Films/Logo Group, announced that he has named two key executives to assume the top leadership roles at MTV and VH1. Christina Norman has been appointed President of MTV: Music Television and Tom Calderone has been named General Manager of VH1. Christina was previously President of VH1 where she has been credited with successfully helping lead the network to unprecedented ratings success, as well as re-energizing VH1’s on-air design and overall creative direction. Tom has served as Executive Vice President of Music Programming and Talent for MTV & MTV2 where he has overseen the development of such breakthrough music franchises as “Spankin’ New Music,” and “MTV Ultimate Mash-Ups” and has played an instrumental role in the renewed MTV2 by shepherding new programming as the underground hit “Wonder Showzen,” the music performance series “Discover and Download” and music blocks “Sucker Free Sundays” and “Subterranean.” Both Christina and Tom will continue to be based in New York and report directly to Van Toffler.
“Christina and Tom are two of the most gifted executives at our company. Their understanding of our unique culture, creative vision and overarching philosophy of placing the audience first in everything we do have greatly contributed to our success over the years,” said Toffler.
He added, “At VH1, Christina excelled as a true leader where she guided the channel in achieving its highest rated year ever in 2004. We welcome her back to MTV where early on, she made her mark as a promotions and marketing visionary.” In announcing Tom’s new role Toffler said, “Tom’s extensive background and keen sense of how our audience consumes music and content on all platforms have played an integral part in MTV and MTV2’s continued growth and success. His strategic thinking, passion for music and pop culture and knack for knowing what will resonate with the audience makes him the perfect person to continue to take VH1 to new heights.”
As President, Christina will be responsible for the day-to-day leadership, strategy and management of MTV. Working with the MTV team, she will oversee and direct: business development, research, marketing and promotion, finance, communications and human resources and will partner with the respective General Managers on the overall strategic direction of MTV2, mtvU, MTV Espanol, MTV Hits and MTV Jams. In addition, Christina will help manage MTV’s new media efforts, with the digital media group, including MTV.com and MTV Overdrive, the new hybrid service available via broadband. Finally, she will guide MTV’s strategy around new business initiatives and consumer products under the MTV brand.
As General Manager, Tom will be responsible for the day-to-day leadership, strategy and management of VH1. Working with the VH1 team, he will oversee and direct: business development, marketing and promotion, finance, communications, research and human resources. Partnering with the respective General Managers and digital media group, he will also oversee VH1 digital media efforts including VH1 Classic, VH1.com. and VH1 Soul, among others. Tom will also partner with Brian Graden, President of Entertainment for MTV Networks Music Group’ to build on the network’s momentum of eleven consecutive quarters of ratings growth.
“Tom’s an incredibly creative executive and I look forward to working with him and the entire VH1 team to continue the network’s incredible roll,” said Graden. “With a full roster of “celebreality” programming, a reinvigorated “Storytellers” franchise and more than ten new series debuting throughout the rest of the year, VH1 is well positioned for continued growth and success.”
Christina joined VH1 in 2002 when she was named General Manager. She immediately began making influential changes to the network’s on-air look and pacing, placing the VH1 brand on the map. She was then promoted to President of VH1 in January of 2004, where she continued to lead the VH1 team in re-invigorating their programming and design. The results were decisive, with VH1 closing out 1ST quarter of 2005 with primetime delivery up 75% since Christina first joined the network.
Previously, while at MTV, Christina oversaw the network’s On and Off-Air Promotions and Affiliate Marketing departments. She was responsible for the short form visual packaging and design of the network including: the launch and branding of the “10 Spot,” MTV’s longest running programming destination; numerous award-winning image, programming and pro-social campaigns; marquis event campaigns for the MTV Video Music Awards and MTV Movie Awards featuring such stars as Chris Rock, Ben Stiller, Sarah Jessica Parker and Sam Jackson; and the movie campaigns for such popular MTV Films as Kings of Comedy, Save the Last Dance and Orange County. Under her creative leadership, MTV won numerous advertising, design, and promotion awards from the Broadcast Design Association, PROMAX, CTAM and the Art Director’s Club. Originally joining the company in 1991 as a Production Manager, Christina held a succession of positions culminating in her now being named President of MTV.
She has also won numerous personal honors for her leadership in the cable and entertainment industry including being named a National Public Service winner at the 2002 Television Academy Emmy Awards, a NAMIC Quasar Vision Award winner in 2003 and this year, was honored as an Ebony Magazine Outstanding Woman in Marketing & Communications.
Tom began his career at MTV as Senior Vice President, Music and Talent Programming in 1998 where he led the music and talent team’s efforts in creating new music initiatives for the various MTV screens including on television, online and wireless, as well as managing artist relations and communication with the music industry. He was promoted to Executive Vice President Music and Talent Programming for MTV & MTV2 and took on a larger role in the development of music programming involving some of the biggest artists and musicians. He also worked on the production of such top rated television events as the MTV Video Music Awards and MTV Movie Awards as well as such successful franchises as “Unplugged,” “The Leak,” and “MTV’s New Year’s Eve.” Before joining the company, Tom served as a consultant with Jacobs Media where he advised radio stations across the country on music, talent and marketing strategies.
Both Christina and Tom will work closely with Van Toffler in continuing to define and grow the MTV and VH1 brands as they serve their distinctive television audiences, as well as branch into new and emerging platforms in the wireless, VOD and digital world. In assuming their respective leadership roles, both these executives will be integral to the ongoing success of MTV and VH1 moving forward.