South African TV veteran Helen Smit has joined Johannesburg-based MTV Networks Africa (MTVNA) in the new role of programming director: Music.
Smit will take responsibility for driving the programming strategy across MTVNA’s portfolio of music brands, including pan-African music channel MTV Base, MTV and VH1. In her new role, Smit will oversee content scheduling, programme acquisition, research and planning.
Smit joins MTV Networks Africa from the Baynounah Media Group in Abu Dhabi, where she was deputy director of Programming for its English language service targeted at expatriates in the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf region.
Having started her television career at the SABC TV news desk in the early Eighties, Smit was quickly promoted to insert producer for Good Morning South Africa, and subsequently freelanced for a wide range of South African production companies.
In 2000 Smit joined M-Net as commissioning editor and in 2002 was promoted to the role of general manager: KTV/GO and was appointed to the management board.
In the decade she spent with M-Net, Smit developed an insight into youth media consumption. In 2008 she took on the post of general manager: Local Content Development &¨Production, making pivotal choices regarding local TV content on a myriad of M-Net channels during a time in which the broadcaster was producing more local programming than ever before in its history.
Commented Alex Okosi, senior vice president & managing director, MTV Networks Africa, “We are delighted to welcome Helen into the fold at MTV Networks Africa. Her insights into youth media consumption habits and expertise in scheduling across multiple platforms will be a valuable addition to the business as we continue to expand our African TV and content multiplex.’
Smit holds a degree in English and Speech and Drama from Rhodes University.