As Executive Vice President, News and Production for MTV: MUSIC TELEVISION, Dave Sirulnick oversees MTV’s award-winning News and Docs department, as well as studio-based programming and event productions. In addition, Mr. Sirulnick supervises the planning and execution of MTV’s year-long pro-social campaigns, as well as live events including the annual Video Music Awards.
Under Mr. Sirulnick’s leadership, the MTV News and Docs department produces MTV’s award-winning documentary series “True Life,” which he created in 1998 and which examines the lifestyles, interests, issues and concerns of young people. Included in the series were hour-long specials addressing the drug epidemics surrounding Ecstasy, Crystal Meth, Heroin, and OxyContin; as well as topics such as gay marriage, adoption, eating disorders, and depression. The News and Docs department is also home to such series as “Diary,” “MTV Cribs,” and “My Super Sweet 16,” which was the highest rated series premiere in MTV history when it hit the air in January 2005. Mr. Sirulnick also oversees MTV’s Daily News coverage, including the channel’s critically acclaimed reports following the attacks of September 11, live in-studio coverage of events in Iraq as the war unfolded, and reports on the December 2004 tsunami. In addition he supervised MTV’s Week in Rock over the course of its ten-year run.
On the production side, Mr. Sirulnick supervises the highly successful daily show, Total Request Live, which is a cornerstone of MTV programming. Additionally, in 1999 he took on the role of Executive Producer of the Video Music Awards and continues to do so annually. That year the VMA’s became the #1 rated entertainment program in cable history, and it has remained a ratings juggernaut for the channel year after year. Other event productions under Mr. Sirulnick’s helm include annual New Year’s Eve and Spring Break programming; series successes on the production side include “Laguna Beach,” television’s first “reality drama” series; and “Made,” which helps young people achieve a personal goal with the help of a “life coach.” Upcoming series under Mr. Sirulnick’s direction include “Trailer Fabulous,” a fresh new look at the home makeover genre that beautifies America one trailer at a time; “Rev’s House,” television’s first hip hop reality sitcom starring Reverend Run (Joey Simmons) of Run DMC, his wife and five children; and “Nick Cannon Presents Wild’n Out,” a new sketch comedy/improv series starring Cannon that features two teams of hot, up-and-coming comics who go head-to-head in a series of “improv battles.”
On the pro-social front, in 1992, Mr. Sirulnick created and oversaw political news coverage on the Peabody Award-winning “Choose or Lose” political awareness campaign. In 1996, MTV took to the streets with the “Choose or Lose Bus” which toured more than 80,000 miles through 48 states. “Choose or Lose 2000” sent a street team of young political reporters across the country to register voters and talk to the candidates about the issues of concern to young people. In 2004, “Choose or Lose: 20 Million Loud” helped motivate nearly 21 million young people to vote. Collectively, the MTV “Choose or Lose” campaigns, along with its partners, have registered millions of young voters, and the initiative won the prestigious Governor’s Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in 2004. In addition to MTV’s voter registration and political awareness campaigns, Mr. Sirulnick oversaw the “Fight For Your Rights: Take A Stand Against Violence” campaign in 1999 and the “Fight For Your Rights: Take A Stand Against Discrimination” inititiative in 2001. Since 2002, he has supervised the channel’s most recent initiative, the Peabody Award-winning “Fight For Your Rights: Protect Yourself,” a comprehensive on- and off- air sexual health campaign in partnership with the Kaiser Family Foundation. “Fight For Your Rights” has also garnered 4 Emmy Awards under Sirulnick’s leadership.
Prior to this position, Mr. Sirulnick was Senior Vice President and Executive Producer, MTV News. Under his leadership, MTV News has become a highly credible voice and source of information for young people. Before the “True Life” series, MTV News produced documentaries on alcohol and drug abuse, hate music, the AIDS epidemic, gun control, and other issues of concern to young people During his tenure overseeing MTV News, Mr. Sirulnick supervised and produced most of the department’s signature programming, including MTV News’ live coverage of Woodstock ’94 and ’99; the aftermath of Kurt Cobain’s suicide in 1994; Snoop Dogg’s murder trial in 1996; the O.J. Simpson murder trial in 1995; and other pivotal music and entertainment news stories. Sirulnick also created “Decade,” which won a Peabody Award in 1990. Prior to joining MTV as News Producer in 1987, Mr. Sirulnick produced segments for CNN.
Mr. Sirulnick holds a B.F.A. from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University.
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