At Winter Press Tour, MTV Has News for Itself

By Lisa de Moraes
Friday, January 12, 2007

PASADENA, Calif., Jan. 11

In a TV Press Tour first, while a network was pitching its new programs to The Reporters Who Cover Television in the ballroom of the fancy Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel here, the president of same network was being canned/resigned.

Here's what happened:

MTV Networks was right in the middle of its dog-and-pony show for its new crop of MTV-ish programs -- the washed-up boy-banders living together show, the Sarah Silverman has sex with black god show, the J. Lo teaches bunch of aspiring dancers to live their dream show, the young men pounding each other in cages show, the Oscar-winning hip-hoppers set up in Hollywood mansion and hilarity ensues show. Meanwhile, intrepid bloggers listening to the presentations noticed online reports that MTV Networks President and COO Michael Wolf had been canned/resigned.

Patiently, reporters waited for the master of ceremonies, MTV Entertainment President Brian Graden, to say something. By the time hip-hop artists 3-6 Mafia were onstage chatting about this and that, the reporters could stand no more:

"It's my understanding that news is supposed to be disseminated during a press tour," one intrepid critic said.

"Why have we been here for 2 1/2 hours and no one has mentioned that MTV Networks COO Michael Wolf resigned today? And what can you tell us about the particulars of his resignation?"

[sound of crickets chirping]

"Blessedly, that's above my pay grade," a visibly shaken Graden responded. "That's a corporate move, not a decision I was responsible for."

All eyes turned to an MTV publicist sitting in the audience. The persecuted publicist, looking like you would expect someone to look after he had spent tens of thousands of MTV dollars to put on a dog-and-pony show only to have it nuked by the decision of the company brain trust to can/resign Michael Wolf on the same day, mumbled something to the press about the need to contact corporate headquarters.

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