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MTV poaches Condé Nast content chief

MTV has hired the programming exec who helped launch Condé Nast Entertainment to become its executive VP, original content.

Michael KleinMichael Klein (pictured) has been handed responsibility of all original programming, development and creative across the MTV suite of Viacom-owned brands and channels.

He will, in effect, replace Susanne Daniels, who left her post as president of programming to join YouTube last year, before MTV president Stephen Friedman also left.

Friedman had appointed scripted development Mina Lefevre and unscripted development chief Lauren Dolgen to replace Daniels, though they will now both report to Klein.

Klein will report to Sean Atkins, who last year replaced Friedman as president at the US cable channel, whose ratings have been faltering for some time.

Klein’s credits include Investigation Discovery’s Vanity Fair Confidential, Travel Channel’s Man V. Food, and TLC pair What not to Wear and Miami Ink. While leading magazine group Condé Nast’s video entertainment arm, he worked up programming for brands including Vogue, Vanity Fair, Wired, GQ and The New Yorker. Combined, video views for these last year reached 2.7 billion and included Screw You Cancer and Casualties of the Gridiron.

Before that, he was part of the senior team that launched Condé Nast Entertainment, working as EVP, alternative programming.

Klein has also held roles such as VP, programming production at Discovery Communications-owned TLC, and senior VP, programming and development at AMC Networks-owned Sundance Channel (now SundanceTV).

“Michael is a proven hitmaker with a strong feel for our audience, a keen eye for talent, and a successful track record of reinventing brands through distinctive, creator-driven content,” said Atkins.

“His leadership and experience are an excellent fit for MTV in this pivotal moment for the network, as we accelerate a new development slate of music and pop culture-inspired programming.”

MTV parent Viacom made swingeing cuts to the network last year, in a bid to bring costs under control.