MTV Exec Chris Linn Joins TruTV as President

Change atop Turner cabler follows departure of Marc Juris; Lauren Dolgen rises at MTV

Chris Linn

Chris Linn is taking the reins of TruTV as president and head of programming, the Turner cabler confirmed Tuesday.

“Chris brings to truTV a remarkable track record of success highlighted by some of the most pop-culturally relevant and engaging series on television,” said Steve Koonin, chief of Turner Entertainment Networks, to whom Linn will report. “With his proven ability to reach and understand the young-adult audience, Chris has successfully developed shows that evolve beyond the television screen to become full-fledged phenomena. Chris has the strategic vision and energy to take TruTV forward in the next phase of the network’s brand evolution as it continues to grow competitively in the unscripted arena.”

Variety reported Linn’s pending appointment at TruTV earlier in this month after previous topper Marc Juris’ contract was not renewed by the network.

Linn joins Tru after a significant tenure at MTV, where he served as exec veep and head of production, overseeing shows including “Jersey Shore” and “Snooki & JWoww.” Before he started at MTV in 2004, Linn held exec posts at Nickelodeon and Spike.

With Linn’s exit, MTV has tapped Kimberly Rach and Andrew Portnoy to co-head production for the cabler.

“Andy and Kimberly have been integral in running one of the most aggressive television production slates in television,” said MTV chief Susanne Daniels. “They make a great team and are well poised to lead MTV’s productions moving forward as we continue to build MTV’s eclectic programming schedule.”

Separately, MTV has also expanded Lauren Dolgen’s duties to head of West Coast reality programming, and senior veep of series development. The new position calls for Dolgen — a 16-year vet at the cabler — to oversee programs including “Teen Mom 2,” “Ridiculousness” and “The Real World.”

“I have worked with many talented television executives but Lauren’s ability to tap into such a vast array of characters, formats and narratives is truly extraordinary,” said Daniels. “Her sensibility resonates with our audience with just the right blend of outrageousness and heart. Producers love to work with her and I’m very much looking forward to working with her in this new role.”