MTV Taps Dolgen to Head Reality Programming

Updated: Will continue to serve as executive VP, series development
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MTV has tapped Lauren Dolgen to head reality programming, the network announced on Tuesday.

Dolgen, who most recently was head of West Coast reality, will continue to serve as executive VP of series development, reporting to Susanne Daniels, MTV’s president of programming.

Dolgen’s promotion comes amid multiple exec changes at parent Viacom. In February, Van Toffler, longtime president of Viacom’s music and Logo group, which included MTV, VH1, CMT and Logo, announced he was exiting the company.

Toffler’s departure came on the heels of a disappointing first quarter for the company, which prompted the consolidation of Viacom’s network groups from three to two: Viacom Music and Entertainment Group (MTV, MTV2, Logo, VH1, Comedy Central and Spike) and Viacom Kids and Family Group (Nickelodeon Group channels, plus TV Land, CMT and CMT Pure Country).

The company’s ad sales unit was also consolidated with exec Jeff Lucasadding Nickelodeon to his purview, which also includes MTV and Comedy Central. A round of layoffs is also expected.

“Lauren eats, sleeps and breathes pop culture, creativity, and storytelling, and her passion is evident in the many hit series she’s brought to air,” said Daniels. “With Lauren’s expertise and unique sensibility, we know our Reality Development teams will thrive under her unified leadership.” 

The 18-year MTV veteran will have oversight of development and strategy for all of the net’s reality programming, which includes series such as Ridiculousness, Broke A$$ Game Show, the Teen Mom franchise and the upcoming Follow the Rules

The network recently renewed unscripted seriesThe Challenge and Are You the One? as well as ordered pilots for Girl Code Live and Greatest Party Story Ever.

Dolgen’s father, Jonathan, is a veteran Hollywood dealmaker who held posts including chairman and CEO of the Viacom Entertainment Group.

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