MTV’s SVP Development Paul Ricci is moving to sister network VH1 where he has been named SVP, Head of Alternative Programming and Development, overseeing all comedy, studio based and topical series. Ricci, who will start in August and will continue to be based in New York, will report to Nina L. Diaz, recently elevated to EVP and Head of Reality Programming and Development. This is a new, more centralized structure for VH1’s reality/alternative operations under President Chris McCarthy with a No. 1 and No.2 executives. The network’s previous setup was by geography, with the heads of East Coast and West Coast leading the efforts.
Ricci, who started his career at MTV as a college intern, most recently served as Head of Development for MTV2. With him in the post, the channel launched nine of the ten highest-rated series in the network’s 20 year history, including Guy Code, offshoot Girl Code, Nick Cannon Presents: Wild ‘N Out, and Hip Hop Squares. Ricci also developed the recently greenlit series Going Off which will premiere on MTV.
Ricci was brought over to VH1 by former MTV colleagues Diaz, who started her career at MTV News and Docs, and McCarthy, with whom Ricci worked when McCarthy was MTV2 General Manager from 2010-2015.
“I am excited to have Paul join the VH1 family to lead our new Alternative Programing group” said Diaz. “Paul has a sharp comedic sense and the amazing ability to translate cultural zeitgeist into innovative programming.” Added McCarthy, “Paul is a gifted and well respected executive with a deep knowledge of formats and a keen eye for talent. I am thrilled to be working with him again.”
Prior to MTV and MTV2, Ricci was the Head of Programming for mtvU.
VH1 is behind 9 of the top 20 cable reality shows for P18-34 and P18-49, more than any other network.