HITS Daily Double
"Betsy's work here, over the last seven years, has been a huge factor in the phenomenal success of MTV Networks."
——Tom Freston, Viacom Co-President/Co-COO


MTV Vet Named Exec. Vice President Research and Planning for Viacom's Cable Networks, Film and Publishing
There's a new research exec at Viacom, who'll now be able to tell us exactly how many adults over 30 are closet SpongeBob SquarePants fans.

Besty Frank has been named to the newly created position of Executive Vice President, Research and Planning for Viacom's Cable Networks, Film and Publishing by Co-President/Co-COO Tom Freston.

In this post, she'll be responsible for MTV Networks, Showtime, BET, Paramount Pictures and Simon & Schuster, reporting jointly to Freston and MTV Networks Chairman/CEO Judy McGrath.

Frank will work with Freston and the leaders of the company's cable, film and publishing divisions to support their creative and business goals by developing original consumer research strategies for Viva Le Bam.

The stated aim is for Viacom to "deepen its relationship with its audiences, reinforce best practices across its cable, film and publishing divisions, ensure that the consumer is at the heart of all strategic decision-making" and find out how many want their ride pimped by Xzibit.

Commented Freston: "When it comes to getting inside the minds of consumers, Betsy is the best in the business, a regular Uri Geller. Betsy's work here, over the last seven years, has been a huge factor in the phenomenal success of MTV Networks. And, at the heart of that, has been her ability to provide great consumer insights, knowledge and observations that have helped us craft our business and programming strategies and our moves into the digital world. It's a great opportunity now to take Betsy's expertise and share it with the other divisions in my portfolio. While circulating all those e-mailed jokes about Les Moonves she sends me."

Added McGrath: "I'm really pleased that I will continue to be able to tap into Betsy's unique, consumer-focused perspective, which has served us so well over the last seven years. Additionally, I couldn't be happier with the incredible research team she has built and leaves us with. With their great expertise, we couldn't be better positioned for the future. I just wish she wouldn't eat glass everyday for lunch in the office commissary with Steve-O."

Ms. Frank joined MTV Networks in 1997 as Executive Vice President of Research and Planning. During her tenure at MTVN, she has built the company's research departments through a proactive, strategic approach to consumer research. Her emphasis on planning, analysis, and integration has not only contributed to the recent record successes of MTV Networks, but has fostered new ways of understanding consumer tastes and trends industry-wide.

Over the years, she has produced numerous groundbreaking research studies and analyses, including the often-cited "Leisure Time Study," a far-reaching examination of consumers' evolving media and entertainment habits. She also has been at the forefront of identifying and understanding the new, current generation of media consumers, the "Media Actives," whose tastes and attitudes are having significant impact across the entertainment industry. Her influence also extends to the press, as she has been vocal in championing the changing trends in television, most notably identifying the parity between broadcast and cable television in reaching specific audiences. Of course, she only watches QVC and The Weather Channel on her leisure time.

Prior to joining MTV Networks, Ms. Frank was EVP and Director of Strategic Media Resources for Saatchi & Saatchi's media specialist arm, Zenith Media Services. While there, her published annual surveys of network programming were considered to be the primary sources on TV programming and development. Prior to joining Saatchi & Saatchi in 1978, Ms. Frank held positions at the Bristol-Myers Company and Ted Bates & Company.