Janollari To Head MTV Programming


The situation is clear for newly named MTV programming head David Janollari: keep the network's core milliennial viewers engaged with the network's mix of original scripted and reality programs.


Janollari, who joined MTV this past January to oversee scripted series development, Tuesday was named executive vice president and head of programming for the network -- effectively replacing recently departed MTV president Tony DiSanto.

DiSanto, along with programming executive Liz Gateley, left the network in October to create their own independent production company.

In addition, Chris Linn has been promoted to executive vice president of programming and head of MTV Production. Linn, a 20-year veteran of MTV Networks who was responsible for managing MTV's hit reality series Jersey Shore, will oversees the production of all MTV series including logistics, budget and all related negotiations.

Janollari and Linn are taking on larger roles at MTV as the network continues to build ratings momentum. The network averaged 1.2 million viewers in prime time during third quarter 2010, a 43% ratings increase over the same period in 2009, according to Nielsen.

This past summer, MTV's reality hits Jersey Shore and Teen Mom ranked as the top two most-watched series among the network's core 12-34 audience demo and represented eight of the top 10 most-watched cable shows in the demo for the year, according to the network.

Janollari told Multichannel News that the network will continue to pursue its mix of original reality and scripted shows that resonate with the network's core millennial viewer.

"We think the young, millennial generation is constantly growing and changing and reinventing, so it's our job to keep up with them and to give them entertaining programming that also changes and reinvents itself to reflect the lives they're living out in the world today," he said.

Linn added that the network expects to continue its ratings momentum in January by bringing back Snooki, The Situation and the cast of Jersey Shore for a third season, as well as premiering a new scripted series Skins -- a U.S. series adaptation of the popular UK hit.

"The momentum we've have has given us the opportunity to grab people's attention and to bring different kinds of entertainment that they might not have expected from MTV," he said. "The success of Jersey Shore led people to check out 16 and Pregnant, Teen Mom and The Hard Times With RJ Berger ," he said.

Janollari and Linn will report to Van Toffler, President of MTV Networks Music & Logo Group, and Stephen Friedman, General Manager of MTV.

"MTV produces more content than anyone else in television," said Toffler in a statement. "With David's professional pedigree and track record in TV entertainment combined with Chris' creative instinct and production prowess, they are the perfect team to continue our momentum and help take MTV into its next wave of reinvention."