MTV Entertainment Group— which includes MTV, Comedy Central, VH1 and multiple other ViacomCBS brands — announced today the promotions of Lance McPherson to executive VP and deputy general counsel and Bahareh Kamali to executive VP, strategic development.
“Lance and Bahareh are consummate pros who bring a high level of expertise and experience, forging groundbreaking deals and partnerships that are instrumental to our success in this ever-evolving landscape,” said Nina L. Diaz, president of content, chief content officer, in a statement.
In their new roles, McPherson will oversee the business and legal affairs functions for the full breadth of the MTVE portfolio, studios business and MTV Documentary Films. Kamali will serve as the chief liaison to business and legal affairs across all content and talent for Diaz.
McPherson began his MTV Networks journey in 1998, when he joined the company as a legal counsel, business and affairs. Soon thereafter McPherson began to rise up in the ranks to hold positions of increasing seniority— senior counsel in 2000, VP in 2003, senior VP in 2012 and now executive VP. As part of his long-time oversight for the VMAs, he most recently established new production protocols due to the unique challenges of COVID-19. He currently leads a team that oversees scripted and unscripted franchises such as “Catfish.” McPherson, a graduate of the University of Maryland and Rutgers University School of Law, began his career as an attorney with Brown Raysman Millstein Feder & Steiner, where he founded the firm’s entertainment and sports law practice.
Similarly, Kamali joined Viacom nearly two decades ago, and rose through the ranks— VP of business and legal affairs in 2003, VP, strategic development in 2011, senior VP, head of strategic development in 2019 and now executive VP, strategic development (since October 2020). Kamali was instrumental in MTVE’s first-in-class diversity and inclusion initiatives to bolster a new generation of BIPOC and women creators, including a $250 million investment to nurture their third-party production companies by providing funding, infrastructure, services and staff. Through this commitment, unscripted executive producers Lashan Brownin (“Love & Hip Hop Atlanta,” Cartel Crew”) and Adam Gonzalez (Teyana & Iman,” “America’s Next Top Model,” “Mob Wives”) will now create their own third-party production ventures. Kamali, like McPherson, is also a graduate of the University of Maryland.