Lauren Dolgen exits MTV after 19 years

After 19 years at the Viacom-owned cable net, the exec behind 16 and Pregnant, Teen Mom and many other MTV reality titles is stepping down.
June 15, 2016

MTV reality executive Lauren Dolgen (pictured) is leaving the network.

After 19 years at the Viacom-owned net, she is stepping down from her position as head of reality programming and EVP of series development. Her position will not be replaced.

Dolgen was promoted to the position last year amid lay-offs and restructuring at the network.

Her departure is the latest in a string of executive changes. Sean Atkins became MTV’s president after Stephen Friedman left last fall. Three months ago, Condé Nast Entertainment exec Michael Klein joined the network as EVP of original content, replacing Susanne Daniels, who left MTV last summer to join YouTube.

Formerly the head of West Coast reality and executive VP of series development, Dolgen oversaw development and strategy for MTV’s unscripted titles. Over her 19 years at the network, she worked in production and development on several breakout hits including Jackass, Ridiculousness, America’s Best Dance Crew, The Real World and Are You the One?

She is also credited with creating and developing the series 16 and Pregnant, which she followed up with Teen Mom franchise.

Teen Mom has been a top-five MTV series every year since it launched in 2009, and ratings aren’t even the most powerful measure of its impact,” Klein wrote in a memo to staff announcing Dolgen’s departure. “Studies have credited the franchise with driving up to one-third of the overall decline in teen pregnancy – a staggering statistic. Teen Mom alone puts Lauren in the hall of fame.

“Lauren has been discussing the next chapter in her career with Sean for a few months now and I want to thank her for helping with the transition – and for her work in helping jumpstart the development pipeline,” he added. “I look forward to digging in with the team and working to push this brand forward.”

“As someone who’s been around Viacom for a good chunk of Lauren’s career, I was able watch it unfold with great deal of admiration,” Doug Herzog, president of Viacom’s music and entertainment group, wrote. “Her fingerprints and great work are all over MTV and its original programming. I’ve truly enjoyed getting to know her over this past year. I’m excited to see what comes the next chapter brings.”

In April, MTV unveiled a “back to brand” programming strategy that will see the network shift focus toward live music and music-inspired programming.

About The Author
Jillian Morgan is the Associate Editor at Realscreen with a background in journalism and digital marketing. She joined the publication in 2019 after serving as the assistant editor to trade publications HPAC and On-Site. With a bachelor of journalism from the University of King's College in Halifax, she also works as a freelance writer and fact-checker.