Five months after she was upped to EVP and Head of Reality Programming for VH1, Nina L. Diaz is getting another promotion — to Head of Unscripted for MTV and VH1. Chris McCarthy, who elevated Diaz at VH1 shortly after becoming President of VH1 and Logo in June, is expanding her duties with MTV oversight in his first executive appointment since he was named President of MTV, VH1 and Logo last month.
MTV had been without a head of unscripted since June when EVP Series Development Lauren Dolgen, a 19-year MTV veteran, left following the appointment of Michael Klein as EVP original content. McCarthy yesterday announced that Klein is exiting after six months as MTV is making a change in its original programming strategy. Under the new structure, Diaz will continue to report to McCarthy, and MTV’s head of scripted, EVP Scripted Development Mina Lefevre, who used to report to Klein, also will report to McCarthy.
McCarthy is extending the hands-on approach that he had implemented at VH1 and Logo to MTV by eliminating the extra layer of head of programming which existed under his predecessors Sean Atkins (Klein) and Stephen Freidman (Susanne Daniels), with the unscripted and scripted chiefs reporting directly to him. Lefevre is now the longest-serving senior MTV programming executive, having been brought over to the network by Daniels.
Since joining VH1 in 2014 as SVP of East Coast Development, Diaz has developed/overseen some of the network’s biggest hits, including the Love And Hip Hop franchise, Black Ink Crew and Mob Wives — as well as the promising new entry Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party, already renewed for a second season, and the upcoming revival of America’s Next Top Model.
This marks a return to MTV for Diaz who started her career at the network where she developed and launched such signature shows as Cribs and My Super Sixteen. She also is credited with helping to hatch the initial idea for The Osbournes after meeting the family on the set of Cribs and suggesting that they should get their own series.
Diaz went on to be an independent producer, developing hits The Real Housewives Of New Jersey and Mob Wives. The latter series brought her to VH1.
“Nina has made a career of developing big, bold series that cut through and emerge as cultural touchstones, from Martha & Snoop to Cribs to the most successful seasons of Love & Hip Hop,” said McCarthy. “I couldn’t ask for a better partner, and I’m thrilled she’ll be taking on this expanded role and building on her incredible legacy at MTV and VH1.”
VH1 stands as the fastest growing top-25 entertainment network on cable. The network delivered its biggest year-over-year ratings growth in nearly 15 years in fiscal 2016.