The changeover in the VH1 top executive suite continues, with Susan Levison, EVP Original Programming & Production leaving after two years. Levinson was brought in as head of original programming in 2013 by then-VH1 topper Tom Calderone. He stepped down in July and was replaced by Chris McCarthy, who added General Manager of VH1 duties to his GM duties at Logo. Last month, McCarthy elevated MTV and VH1 executive Amy Doyle to be his deputy as EVP for VH1 & Logo. In a memo announcing Levison’s departure today, McCarthy announced that she will not be replaced, with her two top executives, Nina Diaz on the East Coast and Jill Holmes on the West Coast, now “stepping up” and reporting directly to McCarthy. Levison will continue to oversee several projects that she had put in development. Here is McCarthy’s memo:
I want to share some important news with you today. Susan Levison will be stepping down from her position as EVP Original Programming & Production. I’m happy to say that while we will miss her on a day-to-day basis, Susan will continue to oversee a number of key projects in development over the next few months.
In her time here at VH1, Susan has expanded our boundaries of creativity. From naked daters to time travelers – Susan pushed the network to new levels of creativity on both the reality and scripted fronts. She is an unabashed risk taker and a passionate story teller. We are grateful for her energy and dedication.
Thankfully, Susan leaves us in great shape on two very important fronts:
We’ve got real ratings momentum. We are up 6% for fourth quarter with prime time ratings and up 33% in October;
She has put a tremendous development team in place. As we continue to evolve the brand to capitalize on our pop culture DNA, Susan has installed a deep bench of creative executives led by Nina Diaz on the East Coast and Jill Holmes on the West Coast.
Moving forward, Jill and Nina will both step up and report directly to me. Jill Holmes, a VH1 veteran, has been behind some of the brands most beloved franchises including “Flavor of Love,” “Rock of Love” and “Behind The Music.” Jill will continue to lead the West Coast team which oversees the recently renewed “Dating Naked,” the first of family of VH1 “T.I. and Tiny” and our longest running franchise “Basketball Wives,” which recently finished its fifth season of “LA” making VH1 the #2 network among women on Sunday nights.
Nina Diaz has been behind some of the most iconic pop culture shows in history, including “My Super Sweet 16”, “Cribs” and “The Osbournes” when she was first with the company at MTV. She left to become an independent producer creating a string of hits for multiple networks, including VH1’s very own “Mob Wives.” Since recently rejoining the Viacom family, Nina is the lead for the East Coast team and has overseen the expansion of our biggest franchise “Love and Hip Hop,” which continues to dominate and make VH1 the #1 cable network on Monday nights.
We have many exciting projects in the pipeline to continue our positive momentum and a number of new shows we are fast tracking for January. The future is bright for VH1 as we continue to drive and define the Pop Culture conversation.
I want to thank all of you for your hard work and creativity. Please join me in wishing Susan the very best and thank her for her many contributions to VH1.