Benjamin Wagner is the Senior Vice President for MTV News, the music, movies and pop culture news authority for the Millennial audience. In this role, he oversees all production and multi-platform programming for the division, including a diverse mix of daily news stories, insider specials, live red carpet shows, exclusive music video and movie premieres and the “RapFix Live” weekly online-only live stream, as well as exclusive artist and celebrity interviews on-air, online, via mobile and across social media.
Since taking the helm in 2008, the MTV News team has grown to include more than 50 multi-platform producers, reporters and video and copy editors, and experienced tremendous growth online with a 57% increase in unique visitors and 32% increase in video streams year-over-year, and a 2M+ UV audience on tablet, apps and smart phones.
In addition, Wagner and the MTV News team have continued to pioneer with its innovative, interactive new initiative, “MTV First,” that embraces the channel’s short-form legacy with live four-minute, on-air exclusive interviews that expand in real-time to long-form, online live streams. In the past year, “MTV First” has featured Justin Bieber, Lil Wayne, Lady Gaga, Foo Fighters, Evanescence, Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, Jonah Hill, Chris Evans, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner, Robert Pattinson and more.
Wagner first joined MTV News in 1996 as an online producer, interviewing acts like REM, U2, and Neil Young, and from there moved on to become Sr. Producer, Director, Executive Producer and Vice President of Digital. He was a key player in the launch of MTV News’ daily news stories online in February 1997 and continued to oversee its growth and product development, propelling him to his current role today.