MTV President Sean Atkins to Exit After One Year

Executive took over for Stephen Friedman in September 2015

Last Updated: October 24, 2016 @ 12:32 PM

MTV president Sean Atkins is leaving his position with the network after just over a year on the job, TheWrap has confirmed.

Atkins made the surprising announcement on Monday morning in an internal message to staffers. “I apologize for the shock to your Monday morning, but I have some news to share that will come as a surprise,” Atkins wrote. “I have decided to step down from my post as President of MTV. I’ll be consulting on the transition through January in an advisory role.”

“I’m so deeply impressed with the team here and so grateful to have been part of it,” he continued. “You have unbelievable drive and dedication, unstoppable creative passion and are relentlessness in attacking challenges from every possible angle. This speaks volumes about the amazing MTV culture and your commitment to this brand.”

Atkins took over as the head of the Viacom-owned brand in September 2015, replacing Stephen Friedman. Friedman, who had led the network since 2011, stepped down in order to pursue social-impact ventures.

Atkins came to MTV from Discovery Communications, where he served as GM and EVP of Digital Media and Strategy.

Prior to Discovery, Atkins served as Senior Vice President of Digital Media at HBO, where he helped conceptualize and build the platform that ultimately became HBOGo. Previously, he was head of programming and development at Yahoo! Entertainment.

Deadline first reported this news.