CMT Promotes Philips To President

Press Release—Brian Philips has been promoted to President of CMT, managing the brand’s overall portfolio including CMT, CMT Films, CMT.com, CMT Pure Country and all brand extensions, it was announced today by MTV Networks Music and Logo Group President Van Toffler. Philips formerly held the title of Executive Vice President and General Manager of CMT.

Philips will continue to be responsible for day-to-day leadership of the network’s on-air and digital businesses, including all programming, production, talent relations, marketing and promotional strategies. He will continue to be based in Nashville and report directly to Toffler.

At the helm of cable’s #1 country music network since 2001, Philips has overseen eight consecutive years of primetime ratings growth (Nielsen) at CMT.  He is widely credited with more than doubling the network’s subscriber base from 38 to 88 million households during his tenure, and expanding CMT’s reach across multiple media platforms including CMT.com, which streamed more than 100 million videos last year.

Philips’ leadership has inspired a variety of hit programs, including the critically-acclaimed flagship series CMT Crossroads, the creation of such music franchises as the CMT Music Awards and CMT Giants, and the recent debut of the syndicated radio show, CMT Radio Live. In the last year, CMT launched its highest-rated series in the channel’s history, Gone Country, and the debut of Can You Duet which became CMT’s highest-rated series premiere ever.  A second season of Can You Duet is scheduled to premiere on CMT in June.

Philips continues to shepherd CMT’s growth with aggressive efforts to maximize the brand and create new revenue in the digital, retail and film landscapes. CMT Films was formed in 2005, and has earned ratings wins with titles including Beer For My Horses, starring Toby Keith, which became CMT’s second-highest rated premiere of 2008; and Dale, which garnered the network’s first-ever Emmy nominations. Philips also serves as producer of the upcoming CMT Film Crazy Heart, starring award-winning actors Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Robert Duvall, with music by acclaimed producer T-Bone Burnett.

Philips is a member of the board of directors of the Country Music Association (CMA); an alumnus of Leadership Music; and a member of NARAS. He has been named a member of the Board of Trustees for the Christmas Record Trust of Special Olympics International, and is involved in several leadership capacities with the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and the T.J. Martell Foundation. Philips is active in politics and recently served on the Host Committee for the 2008 Town Hall Presidential Debate.

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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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