VH1 has hired Paul Ricci, MTV Senior Vice President for Development, as the network’s new SVP, Head of Alternative Programming and Development, overseeing all comedy, studio based and topical series. Ricci will report to recently elevated EVP and Head of Reality Programming and Development Nina L. Diaz.
Ricci started his career at MTV as a college intern and worked his way up the ranks on MTV series, specials and tentpoles. The role marks a reunion of sorts for Ricci and VH1 President Chris McCarthy, with whom Ricci worked when McCarthy was MTV2 General Manager from 2010-2015. As Head of Development for MTV2, Ricci was responsible for reinventing the brand, driving four years of record growth and turning the network into a top five destination for young men. Under his leadership, the channel launched nine of the ten highest-rated series in the network’s 20 year history, while becoming an incubator for emerging talent. His notable creations include: “Guy Code,” “Girl Code,” “Nick Cannon Presents: Wild ‘N Out,” and “Hip Hop Squares” among others. Ricci also developed the recently greenlit series “Going Off” which will premiere on MTV.
“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 VH1 President Chris 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.”
Ricci went on to say: “VH1 has a legacy of creating hits that define pop culture. I’m grateful and eager for the opportunity to continue that tradition and seize on the momentum that Chris, Nina and the VH1 team have created.”
Prior to MTV and MTV2, Ricci was the Head of Programming for mtvU, where he oversaw “Cause Effect,” “Indebted” and “Quiet Campus,” a series he created. He continues to be based at Viacom’s New York City headquarters.