Nina Diaz was named head of unscripted for MTV and VH1 Tuesday as new MTV boss Chris McCarthy moves to install his team and turn around the struggling Viacom cable network.
Diaz, who will also continue to head unscripted for VH1, will report directly to McCarthy following the departure of MTV’s executive VP of original programming Michael Klein, which was announced Monday.
Klein was brought in by McCarthy’s predecessor as MTV president Sean Atkins, who held the post about a year before departing in October. Ratings at the once-iconic network weren't improving fast enough for Viacom brass.
Also reporting directly to McCarthy is Mina Lefevre, head of scripted at MTV.
McCarthy is a rising star at Viacom. He boosted ratings at VH1 and Logo before being named president of MTV, VH1 and Logo.
Diaz worked under McCarthy at VH1 and developed some of its hits, led by Love & Hip Hop and, more recently, Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party.
“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. “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.”
Diaz started at VH1 in 2014 at senior VP of East Coast development. She began her career at MTV where she developed and launched My Super Sweet 16, Cribs and, according to the company, is credited with conceiving the idea for The Osbournes.
“I’m humbled by this wonderful opportunity to return to MTV, while continuing to work with my incredibly talented colleagues at VH1. Chris is a true visionary and I’m grateful for his trust in me. 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,” said Diaz.
Turning around MTV is a priority for Viacom, which has reported lower revenues and profits as its ratings and ad sales for its cable networks have suffered as young consumer turn away from cable towards digital forms of entertainment.
Viacom went through corporate upheaval as its CEO Philippe Dauman was ousted by the family of Sumner Redstone, which controls the company. Viacom is currently studying combining with CBS, which is also controlled by the Redstone family.