MTV’s top unscripted executive, EVP of Programming and Head of Production Chris Linn, is headed to Turner where he will take the reins of truTV as president and head of programming. He replaces Marc Juris, who announced his departure at the beginning of the month. Along with David Janollari, Linn took over MTV when president of programming Tony DiSanto left at the beginning of 2011, with Linn focused on unscripted and Janollari on scripted programming. Janollari departed when Susanne Daniels was named MTV president of programming in November, with Linn reporting to Daniels, Van Toffler and Stephen Friedman. He had been eying new opportunities for the past several months as Daniels had been exploring bringing in a new head of unscripted the way she installed Mina Lefevre on the scripted side. After an overture with a British executive, Daniels ultimately promoted within the company, with Lauren Dolgen named Head of West Coast Reality and Kimberly Rach and Andrew Portnoy named co-heads of production. Meanwhile, Linn was quietly anointed for the truTV job earlier this month but the appointment could not be made official as he was still under a contract at MTV. Today, Linn’s appointment at truTV was announced simultaneously with MTV’s announcement of the post-Linn restructuring of its unscripted area.Linn will be responsible for all programming at truTV, including the development and production of original programs, and he will oversee all marketing, digital initiatives and strategic planning for the network. He is based in New York and reports to Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks. “Chris has the strategic vision and energy to take truTV forward in the next phase of the network’s brand evolution as it continues to grow competitively in the unscripted arena,” Koonin said.
At MTV, Linn helped develop and oversee the production of Jersey Shore and Snooki & JWOW as well as The Real World. More recently, he led the team that developed Catfish, launched Ke$ha: My Crazy and Beautiful Life and oversaw MTV movies like DisConnected, Made: The Movie and My Super Psycho Sweet 16. Before that he held several positions at Nickelodeon.
Related: TruTV Topper Marc Juris To Depart