Michael Klein has stepped down as EVP Original Content for MTV after six months. Klein was appointed in March by then-new MTV president Sean Atkins. Klein’s departure follows Atkins’ exit last month when Chris McCarthy added MTV oversight as president of MTV, VH1 & Logo. McCarthy just announced Klein’s exit in an internal memo, in which he acknowledges that the network will be making a change in its original programming strategy. MTV has struggled to launch a breakout new original series in the past few years, with its most recent crop of new shows largely disappointing, as the network is looking to stem a half-decade ratings slide.
Here is McCarthy’s memo:
Hope you had a restful Thanksgiving break. I wanted to let you know that Michael Klein has decided to leave the company. We’ve been discussing his role these past few weeks, and it’s clear he signed on to the job under different circumstances to pursue a different strategy. I understand and respect his decision, and the work the Development team has done in the past year. I want to thank Michael for helping me get up to speed, and for his efforts on behalf of MTV.
Many thanks to the Development team for its continued hard work, commitment and creativity in the meantime. We’ll have news to share soon about new leadership for programming and development. I’m confident that together we’ll continue to break new ground, connect with our young audience, and elevate our brand.
For the moment, please join me in thanking Michael and wishing him the best of luck.
Following Klein’s arrival at MTV in May, one of the two top programming executives under him, EVP Series Development and head of reality Lauren Dolgen, left MTV after 19 years. She was not replaced. Dolgen’s scripted counterpart, EVP Scripted Development Mina Lefevre, stayed on. It is unclear whether Klein will be replaced as McCarthy is yet to unveil his MTV executive team — which, as he noted in his memo, is expected to happen soon.