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MTV forms MTV Interactive (MTVi)

New York-based MTV Networks Online, a unit of ViacomInc., has formed MTV Interactive (MTVi), a new Internet-only music company,which will include music super-brands vh1.com, mtv.com and sonicnet.com.Nicholas Butterworth, former president of SonicNet, was named president andCEO of MTVi, and will report directly to Fred Seibert, president of MTVNetworks Online and Chairman of MTVi. "We think there is great value informing a company that includes three of the Internet's best music sites,"said Tom Freston, chairman and CEO of MTV Networks. The appointment ofSonicNet's former President Nicholas Butterworth to serve as president andCEO of MTVi places one of the Internet industry's pioneers in the driver'sseat of the Internet's top music brands. As president and CEO of MTVi,Butterworth will be responsible for the growth and development of the MTViportfolio including vh1.com, mtv.com and sonicnet.com. Fred Seibert,president of MTV Networks Online and Chairman of MTVi, said, "Nicholas hasbeen a visionary and an innovator in the online music industry since itsinception. He is credited with building the SonicNet brand." SonicNet, theaward-winning service first introduced in 1994, will incorporate search enginetechnologies developed by the MTV Networks Online "Buggles Project," whichwas announced in February. "The new SonicNet will deliver a high-qualityaudio and video experience together with simple, easy access to musicpurchasing and communities," Butterworth added. "The technology developedby the Buggles Project will be the key engine driving our new offering."MTV Networks Online includes, in addition to MTVi, Nickelodeon Online, aleading portfolio of kids and parents' destinations.

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