Judy McGrath, President, MTV Networks Music Group, today announced that Brian Graden will take on additional programming, production, and development responsibilities for VH1, becoming President Entertainment, MTV and VH1. Graden will report to Judy McGrath in this expanded role at VH1 and will partner with Christina Norman, just named General Manager of VH1. Graden will continue to report to Van Toffler, President, MTV and MTV2 in his continued role at MTV and be based in both Los Angeles and New York.
In making this announcement, Judy McGrath said, “Brian is uniquely suited for this role in taking VH1 to the next level, given his extraordinary track record at MTV. He is one of the most talented and creative programmers in the television business. From ‘South Park’ to ‘The Osbournes,’ Brian has proven that he knows how to discover new creators, seek out those culturally-relevant hits, and connect with a specific audience in a most creative and original way. I am looking forward to bringing his vision to the next generation of music television for VH1.”
In this expanded role, Graden will be responsible for developing the programming strategy and development slate for VH1. The programming, music, news and production teams will now report to him.
As part of this announcement, Fred Graver, Executive Vice President, Programming & Production, VH1, will move to an independent production role as Executive Producer, for some of VH1’s high profile projects.
Christina Norman, General Manager VH1, said, “I am looking forward to working closely with Brian to make VH1 an even stronger brand, with vibrant and inventive programming that will really set it apart. In the last five years I’ve had the tremendous opportunity to work with Brian at MTV and I believe our combined experience will have a positive impact on our new challenges and opportunities at VH1.”
In his current position at MTV, Graden has been responsible for creative content on all platforms, including MTV.com, the leading music entertainment Web site. He also oversees the development of new music programming initiatives for the rapidly expanding MTV2, which can now be found in almost 40 million homes. Graden continues to oversee MTV’s programming including Music, News and Specials, Production, Talent and Artist Relations, Animation, Scheduling, and Series Development.
Van Toffler, President MTV and MTV2 said “Brian’s creative talents and programming instincts have helped MTV achieve its highest ratings and cultural relevance in years, with programming successes like ‘The Osbournes,’ ‘Cribs,’ ‘Making the Video,’ ‘Diary,’ ‘Jackass,’ ‘Total Request Live,’ ‘MTV ICON’ and the ‘Fight for your Rights: Take a Stand Against Discrimination’ campaign. Graden also inaugurated MTV’s Original Movies for Television division which has produced a number of successful movies including: ‘Anatomy of a Hate Crime’ and ‘MTV’s Hip Hopera: Carmen’ MTV has enjoyed record double digit ratings growth in the first quarter of this year among 18-24 year olds.”
Graden joined MTV in July of 1997 as Executive Vice President, Programming. In January of 2000, he was promoted to President, Programming MTV & MTV2. He was formerly Executive Producer of Comedy Central’s hit animated series, “South Park.” Prior to that, Mr. Graden ran Foxlab, Fox’s home for new and experimental projects, where he oversaw an array of programming initiatives. He also owned his own company, which produced several shows including the “Dating Game” for national syndication.
Graden holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.