MTV Entertainment Studios, Showtime Teams Merge With 4 Execs Departing as Consolidation Looms

Nina L. Diaz and Keith Cox have taken on new roles as CCO and president of scripted, respectively, reporting to Chris McCarthy


MTV Entertainment Studios and Showtime’s creative leadership teams are merging, with four more executives being laid off as the latter company’s upcoming consolidation with Paramount+ looms. Nina L. Diaz and Keith Cox will take on expanded roles as chief creative officer/president of content and president of scripted for Showtime/MTVES, respectively, reporting to Chris McCarthy.

News of the restructuring quickly follows McCarthy’s announcement earlier on Monday that Showtime co-presidents of entertainment Gary Levine and Jana Winograde’s roles would be eliminated; the former executive will take on a senior creative advisor role at the cable-streamer, while Winograde was let go as her position was consolidated. The shake-ups are a result of the larger ramifications of Showtime’s upcoming integration with Paramount+ later this year.

Diaz has largely served as an unscripted executive under Paramount’s MTV umbrella, most recently having been president of programming and development for MTV, VH1 and Logo Group. Cox, who was overseeing MTV Studios as president of entertainment and youth studios, will now report to Diaz.

“As we continue to integrate Showtime across the organization partnering with Tom Ryan and his team in streaming, I’m excited to share that we’re combining Showtime and MTV Entertainment Studios into one unified leadership team,” McCarthy, CEO of Showtime, MTVES and Paramount Media Networks, wrote in his memo. “Together, these creative powerhouses make some of the biggest hits in TV: From ‘Yellowstone’ to ‘Yellowjackets,’ ‘Dexter’ to ‘The Daily Show,’ ‘Billions’ to ‘Beavis,’ ‘The Chi’ to ‘The Challenge,’ ‘Jersey Shore’ to ‘Tulsa King,’ ‘Drag Race’ to ‘The Department,’ ‘Love and Hip Hop’ to ‘Your Honor,’ plus ‘Emily in Paris,’ ‘South Park’ and ‘Mayor of Kingstown,’ to name just a few.”

Additionally, as part of the restructure, Paramount Global Premium Group chief financial officer and chief operating officer Michael Crotty, senior vice president of documentaries Vinnie Malhotra, creative director global brand and originals at Paramount International Rob Rosenberg and EVP of content acquisition Kent Sevener will be joining Winograde in departing the company.

Further changes across leadership and executive teams are as follows:

Amy Israel will continue in her role as EVP for Showtime original scripted, reporting to Diaz. Trevor Rose is expanding his role as EVP/head of talent and casting, also reporting to Diaz. With the expanded role of EVP/head of production, Keri Flint will report to Diaz and Keyes Hill-Edgar (now chief operating officer, see below). Michael Elias will take on a new role as EVP/head of scripted production, reporting to Flint.

On the executive side, Virginia Lazalde McPherson will serve in the new post of EVP/head of strategy and business operations, serving as McCarthy’s deputy for all things Showtime. Amy Britt will keep her title as EVP of talent and casting for Showtime, reporting to Levine and Rose. Tracey Wolfson will also continue in her role as SVP of program operations and global distribution, reporting to Hill-Edgar.

Ken Kay remains as VP of distribution for Showtime, reporting to Ray Hopkins, president of U.S. Networks distribution. Stephen Espinoza will continue in his role as president of sports, moving over to CBS Sports and reporting to David Berson, president of CBS Sports. Michael Engleman will continue in his role as chief marketing officer, as will Kim Lemon, who is EVP/head of insights and programming, reporting to Colleen Fahey Rush, EVP/chief research officer and McCarthy.

For Group Leadership (Paramount Media Networks and Showtime/MTV Entertainment Studios), Hill-Edgar will expand his role to COO. Barbara Zaneri will also expand her role as chief programming acquisitions officer for Paramount Global, taking on day-to-day responsibilities for Showtime. Laurel Weir will continue in her role as EVP/head of programming and insights, reporting to Rush and McCarthy.

Ericka Wright-Tomlinson will expand her role as SVP/head of HR, reporting to Whitney Delich, EVP of HR. Jeannie Scalzo will expand her role as EVP of brand partnerships across the Group. In the expanded role of EVP, deputy general counsel and business and legal affairs, Lance McPherson will report to Seth Levin, EVP and deputy GC for Paramount Media Networks and will continue to partner with Hill-Edgar. Liza Burnett Fefferman will expand her role as EVP/head of communications and co-head of MTV Doc Films with Diaz. Amy Campbell will continue in her role as CMO.

Candice Brancazio is expanding her role as CFO, partnering with Hill-Edgar and reporting to Bryon Rubin, CFO of TV Media. Kelly Bradshaw will keep her position as SVP/head of international markets, reporting to Pam Kaufman (CEO and president of international markets, global consumer products and experiences at Paramount Global) and McCarthy.

Also, Bruce Gillmer will continue to oversee all music across the company inclusive of Showtime in his role as president of music and tentpole events continuing to report to Paramount Global CEO and president Bob Bakish.

There will be no changes to Nickelodeon Networks. As previously reported, Erin Calhoun has expanded her role as EVP of communications for Paramount/Showtime Streaming and cross-communications publicity, reporting to Tom Ryan and Justin Dini, head of comms.