Viacom's MTV Group Promotes 4 Execs to Senior VP

Bahareh Kamali, Dara Cook, Benjamin Hurvitz, Sitarah Pendelton_Split - Publicity - H 2019
Courtesy of Viacom

Dara Cook, Benjamin Hurvitz, Bahareh Kamali and Sitarah Pendelton all launched their careers at MTV.

Viacom's MTV Group has pinned senior vp stripes on four executives in its content group.

Dara Cook, Benjamin Hurvitz, Bahareh Kamali and Sitarah Pendelton have all been promoted from the title of vp. All four launched their careers at MTV and will report to president of entertainment Nina Diaz.

Kamali, who joined the business and legal affairs team in 2003 as director, has been named senior vp/head of strategic development, adding CMT, MTV Studios, MTV Documentary Films and Scripted to her purview. Cook was upped to senior vp original franchise programming, while Hurvitz and Pendelton were each promoted to senior vp original series.

Kamali expands her responsibilities to include MTV's full suite of brands, serving as the chief liaison in deal negotiations alongside business and legal affairs. Kamali, who joined Viacom 16 years ago and rose through the ranks, has been instrumental in forging all development, production and talent partnerships for the content group.

Cook, who has been responsible for identifying new spaces, places and content extensions, will now add responsibility for brokering key collaborations, launching a podcast vertical and fostering unique brand opportunities for franchise programming, tentpoles and events. Cook began her career at MTV in 2001 as a lead writer for the VMAs and TRL.

Hurvitz, who helped turn Teen Mom into a franchise, adds oversight of Teen Mom: OG, Teen Mom 2 and Teen Mom: Young and Pregnant. Hurvitz, who was also responsible for Lindsay Lohan’s Beach Club, joined MTV as a showrunner in 2016 before quickly becoming vp original series.

Pendelton broadens her slate, which is comprised of The Hills: New Beginnings, Girls Cruise and Are You the One: Come One Come All. She began her career working at MTV on the VMAs and as a writer-producer on Spring Break, working at various other networks before returning to the brand in 2018.

Viacom says the promotions come as the company as a whole boasts more than half of the top 30 cable shows.

"Bahareh, Dara, Ben, and Sitarah are key contributors in fueling our content group's growth and success," said Diaz in a statement. "Their unparalleled creativity matches their relentless pursuit to deliver best in class results that inspire and activate our audience."