MTV’s president of programming and development Tony DiSanto (pictured) and senior vice president of development, Liz Gateley, are leaving the net to create a new production shingle, DiGa, with the help of Ben Silverman’s Electus, according to reports.
While MTV has yet to confirm a successor to DiSanto, David Janollari, currently EVP of scripted development, is rumored to be a front-runner for the prexy title. MTV also recently announced the hiring of Shannon Fitzgerald as VP of development for the East Coast. Colin Nash spearheads development for the West Coast.
DiSanto came to MTV in 1989 with experience as a freelance director, writer and producer and moved into overseeing production for various programs stemming from its Times Square studios, including co-creating and exec producing Total Request Live. He was named president of programming in 2007. Under his watch, such hits as The Hills, Laguna Beach, Jersey Shore and 16 and Pregnant have emerged.
Gateley came to MTV in 2003, having developed scripted and reality programming for Lifetime. The first project she pitched to MTV, Laguna Beach was partially inspired by her experiences growing up in Palos Verde, California.
Variety reports that planning was underway at MTV for DiSanto to return to producing and for a stable transition afterwards, according to MTV Networks Music/Film/Logo group president Van Toffler, who also says an announcement regarding DiSanto’s replacement is forthcoming.