Deficiencies of subunits of the transcriptional regulatory complex Mediator generally result in embryonic lethality, precluding study of its physiological function. Here we describe a missense mutation in Med30 causing progressive cardiomyopathy in homozygous mice that, although viable during lactation, show precipitous lethality 2-3 wk after weaning. Expression profiling reveals pleiotropic changes in transcription of cardiac genes required for oxidative phosphorylation and mitochondrial integrity. Weaning mice to a ketogenic diet extends viability to 8.5 wk. Thus, we establish a mechanistic connection between Mediator and induction of a metabolic program for oxidative phosphorylation and fatty acid oxidation, in which lethal cardiomyopathy is mitigated by dietary intervention.