MTV has named Condé Nast Entertainment executive Michael Klein as EVP Original Content. He will oversee all original programming across MTV and its related brands. MTV has been without a head of programming since Susanne Daniels exited her post as president of programming in July 2015. At the time, the plan was to not fill the position, with EVP Scripted Development Mina Lefevre and unscripted chief, EVP Series Development Lauren Dolgen, appointed co-heads of programming, reporting to then-MTV president Stephen Friedman.
The appointment of Klein was made by new MTV president Sean Atkins who replaced Friedman last fall. It is part of the revamp at the network, which is looking for a ratings turnaround under new Viacom boss Doug Herzog, President of Viacom Music and Entertainment Group. Klein will report to Atkins, with Lefevre and Dolgen reporting to Klein.
“Michael is a proven hitmaker with a strong feel for our audience, a keen eye for talent, and a successful track record of reinventing brands through distinctive, creator-driven content,” said Atkins. “His leadership and experience are an excellent fit for MTV in this pivotal moment for the network, as we accelerate a new development slate of music and pop culture-inspired programming.”
Klein comes from an extensive unscripted background. He most recently served as EVP Programming and Content Strategy, Digital Channels, for Condé Nast Entertainment. There, he oversaw development and production for the company’s portfolio of Millennial-targeted digital channels — including Vogue, Vanity Fair, Glamour, Wired, GQ, and The New Yorker — which drew more than 2.7 billion video views last year. Earlier, as EVP Alternative Programming, he oversaw development and production of original non-fiction programming including Vanity Fair Confidential for ID, The New Yorker Presents, and The Fashion Fund for Amazon.
Prior to that, Klein served as SVP Programming and Development for the Sundance Channel where he shepherded such series as Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys, All On The Line With Joe Zee, and Push Girls. Earlier, Klein served as SVP Content for the Travel Channel, where he was involved in such original series as Man V. Food and Ghost Adventures, and as VP Program Production at TLC, where he launched Little People, Big World, What Not to Wear, and Miami Ink.