MTV and VH1 Set New Unscripted Team Under Nina L. Diaz (Exclusive)

Diaz added oversight of MTV to her purview a week ago.
Courtesy of VH1
Nina L. Diaz

Chris McCarthy and Nina L. Diaz are not wasting any time in getting to work.

A week after Diaz added oversight of MTV's unscripted, the VH1 rising star has formalized her new leadership team.

Eli Lehrer has been tapped to serve as head of development at MTV; Lily Neumeyer will have the same role at VH1; Paul Ricci is set as head of alternative programming at MTV and VH1; and Andy Portnoy will be head of strategic content operations for MTV and VH1.

"MTV and VH1 share the same creative DNA and this team deepens the connection between them," Diaz said Tuesday in a statement. "Eli, Lily, Paul and Andy are at the top of their respective games, and I’m excited to work alongside them, share expertise and ideas, and strengthen these two iconic brands."



The executive shuffle comes a week after Diaz was promoted to help fill the void created when MTV head of originals Michael Klein exited the Viacom network following a six-month run. He oversaw both scripted and unscripted, with Diaz now overseeing the latter. MTV's scripted fare — including Scream, Teen Wolf and The Shannara Chronicles — will continue to be overseen by Mina Lefevre. VH1's scripted, including The Breaks, will continue to be overseen by senior vp, scripted Maggie Malina.

Diaz was promoted by VH1 president McCarthy, who replaced Sean Atkins at the helm of MTV last month. For Diaz, the promotion marked a return to MTV, where she started her career developing unscripted series, including My Super Sweet 16 and The Osbournes. Diaz left MTV to become an independent producer, during which time she developed The Real Housewives and Mob Wives, the latter of which brought her to VH1.

In his new post, Lehrer will oversee all unscripted development for the network while continuing to head creative and business operations for MTV2 as executive vp. Before joining MTV in July, he was senior vp and head of nonfiction programming at Lifetime.

Neumeyer will continue in her role as head of development at VH1, where she oversees unscripted development, while taking on additional talent-driven projects. She joined VH1 in July from A&E where she was vp, nonfiction. Neumeyer began her career at MTV, where she developed My Super Sweet 16 with Diaz.

Ricci, head of alternative programming at VH1, adds MTV to his oversight. He joined VH1 in July from MTV, where he started his career.

Portnoy will oversee strategy and operations for original content production at both networks. He most recently was senior vp production at MTV/MTV2.

Read Diaz's memo to staff, below.

Hi everyone,
 
I’m incredibly excited and humbled to take on this new role. MTV and VH1 have set countless trends and dominated pop culture by creating some of the most iconic shows of our time. It’s an honor to produce content for these brands and their audience.
 
We have an incredibly talented group of industry leaders here, and I want to share with you our new senior creative team for unscripted. Collectively, they’re behind the biggest shows in the genre.
 
Eli Lehrer will take on an expanded role as Head of Development for MTV overseeing all unscripted development for the network. He’ll also continue to head up creative and business operations for MTV2 as Executive Vice President, and report to Chris in that role.
 
Lily Neumeyer will continue her excellent work as Head of Development for VH1 while also taking on additional talent driven projects. 
 
Paul Ricci makes a return to the MTV family as Head of Alternative Programming for MTV and VH1. 
 
Andy Portnoy will become Head of Strategic Content Operations, overseeing all original content production for both MTV and VH1 and reporting to Chris.
 
With this new team in place, MTV and VH1 will be able to share vast resources and expertise to enhance our creative opportunities and strengthen both networks. I’m excited to break new ground and build on the incredible legacy of these two pop culture giants.
 
Please join me in congratulating these top notch execs on their new roles — you can read more about them in the attached press release.  It’s a great time to work here and I can’t wait to get started. 
 
xxNina
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