FORA.tv Speaker - Stephen Friedman

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Biography

Stephen K. Friedman is President of MTV, the world's premier youth entertainment brand. Under his leadership, MTV has more top-rated cable series for young viewers than any other network - including "Catfish: The TV Show," "Teen Wolf," "Awkward" and "Girl Code" - and is the #1 full-day, ad-supported cable network for young adults. Additionally, Mr. Friedman heads up LOGO, the leading ad-supported entertainment network for gays, their families and friends. Mr. Friedman has led the charge to transform MTV into the cultural home of the millennial generation, spearheading a continuous reinvention of the brand and new programming strategy. He is responsible for MTV and all its screens, including sister-network MTV2, digital networks mtvU, MTV Hits and MTV Jams, as well as MTV.com and the MTV app. MTV is regularly recognized as the most social network and youth brand with more than 160 million fans and currently ranks as the #1 media brand on Instagram. Moreover, Mr. Friedman has continued the network's strong commitment to pro-social initiatives. The Peabody Award-winning "It's Your (Sex) Life" campaign has been credited with helping to increase STD testing nationally, and experts at the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy have cited the groundbreaking docu-series "16 and Pregnant" and "Teen Mom" as one of the factors contributing to the steep decline in teen birth rates. Prior to being named to his current role in 2008, Mr. Friedman was the General Manager of mtvU, MTV's channel dedicated to college students, which he started in 2004. Under Mr. Friedman's leadership, the network's distribution grew more than 70% and advertisers quintupled. During his tenure, mtvU started the Emmy-nominated "Stand In," a series that surprises students by bringing cultural icons they're studying into class to guest-teach for a day. Past "Stand In's" have included Nobel Laureates Elie Wiesel and Shimon Peres, Madonna, Senator John McCain and Kanye West, among others. Mr. Friedman launched mtvU's Sudan Campaign to fight the genocide in Darfur, which was honored with two Emmy awards, including the 2006 Governor's Award - the highest honor bestowed by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. mtvU also created the Half of Us campaign under Mr. Friedman's guidance to raise awareness and provide resources around mental health issues on college campuses. The campaign was honored with a George Foster Peabody Award. Mr. Friedman joined MTV in 1998 when he was hired to found MTV's department of Strategic Partnerships and Public Affairs with the charge of "using MTV's superpowers for good." In this role Mr. Friedman created the Emmy Award-winning Fight For Your Rights (FFYR) campaigns and managed the Choose or Lose campaign. MTV's FFYR campaigns garnered three Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award. Before joining MTV, Mr. Friedman served as a Director for the PEN American Center (the international writers' human rights organization). He currently serves on the Advisory Board of Hollywood, Health and Society (partnering entertainment, education and the CDC) and holds a B.A. with Honors from Wesleyan University.

1 Program

'Documented' Q & A with Jose Antonio Vargas

05.01.14 | 00:36:13 min | 0 comments