Chris McCarthy

President & CEO, Showtime/MTV Entertainment Studios and Paramount Media Networks at Paramount

Chris McCarthy is president and CEO of Paramount Media Networks, overseeing MTV, Comedy Central, VH1, Pop, CMT, Paramount Network, Smithsonian Channel, Logo, TV Land, the Oscar® nominated MTV Documentary Films and the Emmy®-winning MTV Entertainment Studios. He is also Chief Content Officer, Paramount+, in charge of unscripted entertainment and adult animation.

Appointed President of MTV in 2016, McCarthy quickly returned the brand to #1 with young audiences (p18-34) and transformed the business by growing social footprint to over 750 million followers worldwide. He launched MTV Entertainment Studios, which creates a diverse array of culture-defining hits that include Emily in Paris, RuPaul’s Drag Race, South Park, The Challenge, Love & Hip Hop, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and Yellowstone. Having started at Viacom in 2004 as a freelancer, McCarthy is known for his successful track record of transforming businesses and establishing “creative led cultures”. He credits his accomplishments to always seeing obstacles as opportunities for reinvention, prioritizing diversity & inclusion and working with young audiences who challenge norms and inspire action.

Fueled with a passion for social causes that lead to meaningful change, McCarthy spearheaded the creation of ‘Vote Early Day’, a new national holiday that drove record youth turnout in the 2020 U.S. Election. He also recently launched an industry-leading mental health coalition of more than 1,300 business, government agencies and cultural leaders, to reimagine the role that storytelling can play to positively impact the portrayal of mental health in content to help address this rising crisis.

The recipient of two Oscar nominations, multiple Emmy Awards and two Peabody® Awards, McCarthy grew up in a working-class family in Philadelphia, the first to graduate from college, earning a B.S. with Honors in Commerce and Engineering from Drexel University and an M.B.A. from The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

McCarthy is a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, the Executive Champion of The BEAT+, Paramount’s Black Employee Affinity Group, and a member of the Peabody Board of Directors.


  • President & CEO, Showtime/MTV Entertainment Studios and Paramount Media Networks

    Current role