MTV's Chris Linn Named truTV President and Head of Programming

Chris Linn and Lauren Dolgen
Chris Linn and Lauren Dolgen
 Courtesy of Subject; Andie Kallinger Photography

Chris Linn is exiting MTV for truTV.

MTV's current executive vp programming and head of production will segue from the Viacom-owned cable network to Turner's truTV, where he'll serve as president and head of programming.

"Chris Linn did an extraordinary job overseeing so many shows and intricate productions at MTV, and he will truly be missed. He managed the volume with great skill, the challenges with poise, and always led with a passionate voice and perspective," MTV programming president Susanne Daniels said in a statement Tuesday. "He’s a magnificent executive and we wish him well as he embarks on the next chapter of his career."

Added Turner Entertainment Networks president Steve Koonin"Chris brings to truTV a remarkable track record of success highlighted by some of the most pop-culturally relevant and engaging series on television. With his proven ability to reach and understand the young-adult audience, Chris has successfully developed shows that evolve beyond the television screen to become full-fledged phenomena. Chris has the strategic vision and energy to take truTV forward in the next phase of the network's brand evolution, as it continues to grow competitively in the unscripted arena. I'm thrilled to have him on board."

Linn, who was ranked No. 13 on The Hollywood Reporter's 2012 Reality Power List, first joined MTV in 2004 and was promoted to exec vp and head of production in November 2010. There, he developed Jersey Shore and its spinoff Snooki & JWOW, as well as current unscripted series including The Real World, Catfish and several others.

In his new role, Linn will be responsible for all programming on truTV, marketing, digital initiatives and strategic planning. He'll be based in New York and report to Koonin.

MTV, meanwhile, tapped Lauren Dolgen as head of West Coast reality programming and executive vp series development. Dolgen, who was head of West Coast reality and senior vp series development, will now oversee the creation and development of MTV's West Coast-based reality fare including Teen Mom 2, Ridiculousness and Teen Mom 3, as well as the next cycle of The Real World. Based in Santa Monica, she reports to Daniels.

"I have worked with many talented television executives, but Lauren’s ability to tap into such a vast array of characters, formats and narratives is truly extraordinary," Daniels said of the executive who developed Buckwild. “From mining the antics of a group of hysterical pranksters with Jackass, to producing one of the most exciting music and dance competition shows with Randy Jackson Presents: America’s Best Dance Crew, to developing the honest, bittersweet stories of teenagers navigating parenthood in Teen Mom 2, Lauren’s influence can be felt across MTV. Her sensibility resonates with our audience, with just the right blend of outrageousness and heart. Producers love to work with her, and I’m very much looking forward to working with her in this new role."

Additionally, Kimberly Rach and Andrew Portnoy will now serve as co-heads of production at MTV. Portnoy is based in New York, while Rach is in Santa Monica. The duo will split east/west coast production responsibilities for all of MTV's programming, including scripted, reality, pilots and specials. Both report to Daniels.

"Andy and Kimberly have been integral in running one of the most aggressive television production slates in television," Daniels said. “They make a great team and are well poised to lead MTV's productions moving forward as we continue to build MTV’s eclectic programming schedule."

Rach has overseen production on series including Teen Wolf, Awkward and Beavis and Butt-head; Portnoy has worked on Jersey Shore, 16 & Pregnant and The Show With Vinny, among others.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit

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