New Unscripted Team Takes Shape at MTV & VH1


NEW YORK: Following Nina L. Diaz’s recent promotion to head of unscripted for MTV and VH1, she has named her new leadership team, including Eli Lehrer, who is adding head of development for MTV to his remit.

In this role, Lehrer will oversee all unscripted development for the network while continuing to head up creative and business operations for MTV2 as executive VP. Before joining MTV in July, Lehrer was the senior VP and head of nonfiction programming at Lifetime.

In addition, Lily Neumeyer will continue in her role as head of development for VH1, overseeing unscripted development and taking on additional talent-driven projects. Neumeyer came to VH1 from A&E in July. At A&E, she served as VP of nonfiction and alternative programming and developed and executive produced Duck Dynasty. She began her career at MTV, where she developed My Super Sweet 16.

Paul Ricci, who has served as head of alternative programming for VH1, is adding MTV to his purview. Ricci joined VH1 in July from MTV, where he began his career. He held several creative leadership positions there, including head of development for MTV2.

MTV production executive Andy Portnoy is taking on the expanded role of head of strategic content operations for MTV and VH1. He will be responsible for overseeing strategy and operations for original content production at both brands. Portnoy most recently served as senior VP of production for MTV and MTV2, where he was in charge of projects such Teen Mom, Jersey Shore, the MTV Video Music Awards and MTV Movie Awards. He has also held roles at Spike TV and Nickelodeon.

“MTV and VH1 share the same creative DNA and this team deepens the connection between them,” said Diaz, the new head of unscripted for MTV and VH1. “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.”

Prior to her promotion, Diaz served as executive VP and head of reality programming at VH1. She joined VH1 in 2014 as senior VP of East Coast development. Diaz has overseen some the network’s biggest hits, including three of the top five unscripted series on cable with the Love & Hip Hop franchise. Most recently, she spearheaded Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party.