[01/19/06 - 12:00 AM]
VH1 Powers Up Its Programming Department with Additions and Expansions

[via press release from VH1]

VH1 Powers Up Its Programming Department With Additions and Expansions

Jim Ackerman Promoted to Senior Vice President, Development and Production; Maggie Malina Joins As Senior Vice President, VH1 Films and Scripted Series; Jeff Olde Joins As Senior Vice President, Production & Programming

Brad Abramson Promoted to Vice President, Production & Programming; Alex Demyanenko Joins As Vice President, Development; Matt Hanna Promoted to Vice President, Development and Jill Modabber Promoted to Vice President, Series Production

NEW YORK, Jan. 19 -- After launching its longest and strongest string of original hit series ever in 2005 including "Hogan Knows Best," "The Surreal Life," "Strange Love," "Celebrity Fit Club," "Breaking Bonaduce" and "My Fair Brady," VH1 has promoted a number of executives in both the east and west coast offices of its programming department and added some key executives to help the network achieve its aggressive programming goals for 2006. VH1's Executive Vice President, Original Programming and Production Michael Hirschorn made the announcement.

Jim Ackerman was promoted to Senior Vice President, Development and Production; Maggie Malina joins as Senior Vice President, VH1 Films and Scripted Series; Jeff Olde is named Senior Vice President, President, Production & Programming; Brad Abramson moves up to Vice President, Production & Programming, Alex Demyanenko joins as Vice President, Development; Matt Hanna is promoted to Vice President, Development and Jill Modabber moves up to Vice President, Series Production.

"This team has achieved an astonishing amount of success, delivering high quality original hit series that have yielded record numbers of viewers at VH1 while sharpening and expanding our unique point of view," said Hirschorn. "Their new responsibilities as well as the additions to our team will ensure that VH1 will build on its tremendous momentum and launch even more hit programs that resonate with our viewers in 2006."

VH1 Senior Vice President of Development and Production Jim Ackerman, based in New York, was most recently Vice President of Development Production and Programming. In his new post, Ackerman will be responsible for overseeing development and production of original series. While at VH1, he has overseen such series as "Best Week Ever," "Celebrity Fit Club," "Remaking" and "Race-o-Rama." Prior to joining VH1, he produced the NBC primetime specials "The Today Show's 40th Anniversary" and "Today at Night" and developed projects for Buena Vista, Telepictures, Fox News and HBO. Ackerman was also Executive Producer on Lifetime's "The Jane Pratt Show" and produced for "Dateline NBC." Ackerman will continue to report into Hirschorn. He earned his bachelor's degree in communications from Boston University.

Maggie Malina joins VH1 as Senior Vice President, VH1 Films and Scripted Series, based in Santa Monica. She oversees all scripted programming for VH1 including the upcoming series "So Notorious" with Tori Spelling and the movie "Totally Awesome," written and directed by "Chappelle Show" executive producer Neal Brennan. Malina comes to VH1 from MTV where she was most recently Senior Vice President, Original Movies responsible for the MTV television movies franchise which yielded such hits as the boy band spoof "2gether" that went on to become an MTV series; the GLAAD-nominated "Anatomy of a Hate Crime" focusing on Matthew Shepard; and "MTV's Hip Hopera: Carmen," featuring the acting debut of Beyonce Knowles. Prior to MTV, Malina was Vice President, Production for Pacific Western Productions, working with Gale Anne Hurd. Malina earned a bachelor's degree from Brown University.

Jeff Olde joins VH1 as the Senior Vice President, Production & Programming where he will oversee the development and production of all west coast series. Previously an executive consultant at VH1, Olde has overseen the development and production of hit shows such as "Flavor of Love," "Breaking Bonaduce," "My Fair Brady," and "Strange Love." He also oversees production of "The Surreal Life," about to launch its sixth season. Olde is the Peabody Award-winning creator and Executive Producer of MTV's "BIORhythm." Prior to coming to VH1, Olde's TV production company (Olde/Gladstone Productions) had numerous projects with a wide array of clients including MTV, Lifetime and Disney. Before becoming an independent producer in 1997, Olde served as co-Executive Producer of "The Dating Game" for Columbia Tri-Star Television, a project that was born out of his work with Brian Graden's Foxlab development team.

Brad Abramson becomes Vice President of Production & Programming from Executive Producer of Production and Programming for VH1. He oversees all of VH1's documentary and news programming, including the "VH1 News Presents" specials, the series "When __ Ruled the World," and the upcoming "VH1 Rock Docs." In 2005, Abramson developed and was an executive producer of the reality series "Hogan Knows Best" and helmed the critically-acclaimed documentary, "Tracking the Monster: Ashley Judd and India.Arie Confront AIDS in Africa." Before that, Abramson executive produced the award-winning five-hour documentary "And You Don't Stop: 30 Years of Hip Hop," which was co-executive produced by Russell Simmons. Other credits include "VH1 News Presents: AIDS - A Pop Culture History," a winner at the 2004 Banff Television Festival, and the 2003 Prism Award-winning VH1 News documentary "Hooked on Club Drugs." Abramson continues to report to Shelly Tatro, Senior Vice President, Production & Programming.

Before coming to VH1 in 1997, Abramson was a producer for CNN in Atlanta, working on documentaries and various CNN and TBS newsmagazines. He is a graduate of Clark University in Massachusetts and earned a master's degree in journalism from the University of California at Berkeley.

Alex Demyanenko joins VH1 as Vice President, Development based in Santa Monica where he will pursue new concepts for VH1 pilot production. In his previous position as head of development for Rocket Science Laboratories, the company produced three Top 10 rated primetime series, "Temptation Island," "Joe Millionaire" and "My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance." Also during his tenure, Rocket Science produced close to 150 hours of primetime reality television and created and developed over 100 original show ideas. He is also the producer of Fuqua Films' feature documentary "Bastards of the Party" which was recently purchased by HBO. Demyanenko is a graduate of UCLA with a degree in political science.

Matt Hanna moves up to Vice President, Development from Director, Development. While at VH1, Hanna has developed and continues to oversee two of the channel's most successful series franchises: "Celebrity Fit Club" and "The Fabulous Life." As Vice President, Development he will continue to cultivate new programming ideas and oversee pilots and series production. He reports to Jim Ackerman. Hanna joined VH1 in 1998 as Assignment Editor with VH1 News. In 2000, he was named Director, Music News, followed by a promotion in 2002 to Director, Development. Hanna came to VH1 from SPIN magazine, which he joined in 1990, where he was the Associate Publisher. Hanna is a graduate of The College of the Holy Cross.

Jill Modabber is promoted to Vice President, Series Production at VH1, moving up from Director, Current Programming. In her new role, she is responsible for the VH1 "celebreality" series "Surreal Life," "Flavor of Love" and "My Fair Brady." Modabber previously oversaw production for earlier VH1 seasons of "Surreal Life," "Strange Love," "Motormouth" and "Totally Obsessed." Before being named Director, Current Programming in 2003, Modabber was Director, West Coast Production for VH1, overseeing the "Behind The Music" franchise and episodes of the reality television series "Inside(out)." She reports to Jeff Olde. Prior to joining VH1 in 1999, Modabber was a Post-Production Supervisor/Coordinating Producer for Catalyst Entertainment in Los Angeles. Before that, she was at WGBH in Boston and served as coordinating producer on IMAX films under the "Nova" banner including the Academy Award nominated "Special Effects: Anything Can Happen" and the CINE Golden Eagle Award-winning "Stormchasers." Modabber earned a bachelor's degree in film from the University of California, Berkeley.

VH1 connects viewers to the music, artists and pop culture that matter to them most with series, specials, live events, exclusive online content and public affairs initiatives. VH1 is available in over 87 million households in the U.S. VH1 also has an array of digital services including VH1 Classic, VH1 Soul, VH Uno, VH1 Mega Hits and VH1 Country. Connect with VH1 at http://www.VH1.com.

VH1 is a registered trademark of MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom International Inc. MTV Networks also operates and offers joint ventures, licensing agreements and syndication deals whereby its programming can be seen worldwide.


Web Site: http://www.vh1.com

  [january 2006]  


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