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MTV Networks consolidates new-media advertising into 'Digital Fusion'

The Viacom unit, in an attempt to both streamline and innovate, creates a new division to handle its Web and mobile advertising.

Viacom's MTV Networks unit announced on Tuesday that it has created Digital Fusion, a new-media advertising division designed to bring together the marketing for its oft-disparate digital brands.

Digital Fusion, according to a release from MTV Networks, encompasses both innovation and consolidation. On one hand, it's an efficiency move to give the company an edge in the increasingly competitive online-ad market. But with that renewed efficiency, MTV hopes to go further, using it to "create entirely new digital-ad products, from creative uses of existing inventory to original interactive experiences, including video content, online games, microsites, and widgets." Mobile content will also be a major component of the Digital Fusion strategy.

It's an ambitious plan indeed. MTV now counts its "digital portfolio" at more than 300 sites. After all, it's the sprawling group that counts among its ranks many of Viacom's youth- and pop culture-oriented cable television properties--MTV, MTV2, MTVU, VH1, VH1 Classic, CMT, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, TV Land, Noggin, The N, Spike TV--and the digital properties associated with those brands.

MTV Networks' digital initiatives grew more complicated earlier this year, when the company formally announced Flux, its much-anticipated foray into social networking. Since Flux operates on a "distributed" model that sites outside of MTV Networks can implement, the centralized advertising unit will likely help wrangle the advertising efforts across a diverse set of properties that might otherwise be unaffiliated.

In charge of Digital Fusion is Jason Witt, whose new title is senior vice president and general manager of the new unit.