MTV, one of the Viacom networks under ratings pressure, has
shaken up its programming leadership by hiring former CW and Lifetime president
Susanne Daniels as president of programming.
Daniels replaces David Janollari, who had been trying to
wean the network from its dependence on highly rated but trashy reality shows
like Jersey Shore and Teen Mom by launching more
advertiser-friendly scripted shows.
MTV said Janollari, who brought respected shows like Teen Wolf and Awkward to the network, decided not to renew his contract.
The move comes as MTV parent company Viacom gets ready to
report its earnings on Thursday. Ratings are down at several networks and ad
revenue declined last quarter. Viacom's Nickelodeon recently shook up its
programming leadership, dismissing Brown Johnson, who had been responsible for
such animated hits as Dora the Explorer.
But with an aging roster of shows, Nick's ratings fell sharply, leading to
massive make-goods to advertisers during last year's crucial holiday season.
In a statement, Stephen Friedman, president of MTV, said
Janollari, over his three-year term, "played an important role in advancing
MTV's leadership position the last few years -- particularly in fortifying our
scripted programming strategy with such hits as Teen Wolf and Awkward and
the critically acclaimed I Just Want My
In hiring Daniels, Friedman said that "MTV is committed to
constantly pioneering new, groundbreaking programming -- our audience demands
it of us -- and I can't think of a person better equipped to help us deliver on
this promise than Susanne. Her vision, creativity and proven track record
will be an enormous addition to our already stellar stable of top-notch
Van Toffler, president of MTV Music & Logo Group, added
that "Susanne's delivered more breakthrough pop culture hits in one decade than
most producers do in their entire lifetimes. Very few people have the
talent and instincts to consistently develop shows that connect with young
audiences, but Susanne has thankfully kept in perfect touch with her juvenile
side and we're extremely lucky she will now be joining our restless, creative
family here at MTV."
Daniels takes her new post immediately. She reports to both
Toffler and Friedman.
In 1994, Daniels became president of entertainment at The WB
and its successor the CW. After that she was in charge of programming at
Lifetime and Lifetime Movie Channel.