MTV Hires New Head of Programming

After David Janollari decided not to renew his contract, MTV hired veteran television executive Susanne Daniels to lead its programing department.

The cable network has been steadily expanding its scripted lineup in recent years and Daniels’ hire is the latest indication that that will continue.

“Susanne’s delivered more breakthrough pop culture hits in one decade than most producers do in their entire lifetimes,” Van Toffler, president of MTV Music & Logo Group, said in statement.

Daniels is the former head of programming at the WB network, where she had a hand in developing hit series such as “Gilmore Girls,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” and “Dawson’s Creek.” She also served as president of Entertainment at Lifetime, where she worked on series such as “Army Wives,” and as director of comedy development at FOX, where “Living Single” and “Martin” were developed on her watch.

“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,” said Toffler.

MTV has scored hits with scripted series such as “Awkward” and “Teen Wolf,” and worked hard to retain the development team responsible. In August the network promoted Justin Levy and Clay Spencer, its co-heads of scripted programming, to senior vice presidents, scripted series programming. And earlier in the summer MTV promoted five development executives, including Shannon Fitzgerald and Jessica Zalkind, who were given the title of senior vice president for series development.

Now, MTV has Daniels leading its development team.

“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,” Stephen Friedman, president of MTV, said in a statement.

“Her vision, creativity and proven track record will be an enormous addition to our already stellar stable of top-notch programming talent.”

Janollari leaves his position as head of programming after three years on the job.