Nina L. Diaz Named Head of Unscripted at MTV, VH1

MTV The Hippo
Courtesy of MTV

Nina L. Diaz will add responsibility for unscripted programs at MTV to her duties supervising the same at VH1, the latest of several recent moves by Chris McCarthy, the Viacom executive who was in October given oversight of the struggling youth-culture network.

Diaz will report to McCarthy, who also retains his responsibilities at VH1 and Logo. Diaz had been executive vice president and head of reality programming at VH1.  Mina Lefevre, who will also report directly to McCarthy, continues as MTV’s head of scripted programs.

“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, in a prepared statement.  “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.”

The move shows McCarthy moving quickly to put his stamp on MTV, which has struggled to keep the young viewers who once flocked to such culture-defining fare as “Jersey Shore” and “The Real World.” He is the third executive to lead the cable network in less than two years. Viacom executives have said that turning around MTV is a strong priority at the New York entertainment conglomerate which has suffered as younger viewers move to new kinds of devices, such as mobile tablets, to watch their TV favorites. On Monday, MTV announced that Michael Klein, who had joined the network as its head of original programming about six months ago, was leaving.

Diaz began her career at MTV, where she developed and launched “My Super Sweet 16″ and“Cribs.” according to the network, which credited her with conceiving the idea for “The Osbournes.”  Prior to joining VH1, Diaz worked as an independent producer, developing programs such as “Mob Wives” and “Real Housewives of New Jersey” for Bravo.

“I’m humbled by this wonderful opportunity to return to MTV, while continuing to work with my incredibly talented colleagues at VH1,” Diaz said in a statement.  “VH1 and MTV have contributed so much to the unscripted genre and it’s an honor to tell stories through the lens of these iconic brands,” she added.

Diaz joined VH1 in 2014 as senior vice president of East Coast development, and in that time, has overseen some the network’s biggest hits, including the network’s “Love & Hip Hop” franchise.  Under Diaz, the franchise expanded to a third city and “Love & Hip Hop: New York” achieved its highest rated season to date.  Diaz is also responsible for some of VH1’s most successful spinoff series, including “Stevie J & Joseline” and “Black Ink Crew: Chicago.” Most recently, Diaz spearheaded the buzzy “Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party.” She also developed and oversaw the highly anticipated revival of “America’s Next Top Model” which premieres next month.



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