BuzzFeed has hired Lauren Dolgen away from Vice and A&E’s joint television venture Viceland to oversee all original content.
In her new Los Angeles-based role as head of BuzzFeed Studios, Dolgen will manage the media company’s growing slate of television, film and digital video content and report to BuzzFeed founder and chief executive officer Jonah Peretti.
Peretti noted Dolgen’s “fun, irreverent sensibility, her great eye for talent and her obsession with pop culture” in explaining what makes her right for the role, along with her history in the industry.
“Her track record and relationships are incredibly strong and I’m excited to work with her to capture the opportunity with our studio business and expand what we can do creatively across all platforms,” Peretti added in a statement.
Dolgen — who only last year joined Vice as its head of West Coast development but worked for more than a decade in various roles at MTV Networks, eventually becoming executive vice president of series development for unscripted shows — is replacing Matthew Henick in the role. He left BuzzFeed in March to become Facebook’s head of content strategy and planning.
In a statement, Dolgen said she was drawn to BuzzFeed in part because “It’s a place that’s playful, but doesn’t shy away from the issues important to its audience.”
“It’s an extraordinary world to dive into,” she added.
Dolgen will immediately be overseeing BuzzFeed’s live digital shows like “AM to DM” for Twitter, which is expanding its live video offering, “RelationShipped” for Facebook, the upcoming news show “Follow This” for Netflix and the feature film “Brother Orange,” which is currently being developed at Warner Brothers. BuzzFeed is also admittedly aiming to “significantly increase” its number of original shows, which is a “fast-growing” source of revenue.
BuzzFeed did not specify whether Dolgen will be looking to develop a specific type of series, but most of her past work has revolved around reality TV. During her relatively brief time at Vice, she developed “Hate Thy Neighbor,” a docu-series that explored hate groups, and while at MTV, she developed and oversaw “16 and Pregnant,” “Teen Mom” and “The Real World,” among others.
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