Tony DiSanto, the head of original programming at MTV and the man who helped transition the company from a music video network to one that relies on in-house shows, will soon leave the company to pursue other endeavors, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Mr. DiSanto is leaving so that he can focus more on production. “That’s what’s in his heart,” MTV President Van Toffler told the paper. The 20-year network veteran won’t stray far, though. He’ll continue to produce shows with MTV, and is reportedly considering joining Electus, Ben Silverman’s new production company that’s working on an interactive telenovella with MTV.
Mr. DiSanto takes with him Liz Gately, a top development executive under him. He is listed as an executive producer on Human Giant, The Andy Milonakis Show and Paris Hilton: My New BFF.
By far, his biggest success was Jersey Shore, which delivered a ratings boost to the network right when it needed it, buoyed in part by the controversy that surrounded the show even before it aired. An Italian-American himself, Mr. DiSanto found himself in the curious position of having to defend the show as not racist. Try and stop those kids from calling themselves “guidos”!
In one such interview, he told THR:
I thought it would play like a fun show with heart that also makes you laugh. I look at my job as having to deliver shows that hit at least one or two of the following categories – entertain, engage and enlighten. And this nails the entertainment category.
Two out of three ain’t bad! But don’t sell yourself short, this clip below is extremely engaging.