BuzzFeed announced today that Lauren Dolgen will head BuzzFeed Studios. The MTV veteran replaces Matthew Henick, who left BuzzFeed in March for a position at Facebook.
Dolgen has over 20 years of experience, working for MTV and Viceland. As Head of BuzzFeed studios, she will oversee development of original productions for BuzzFeed partners across TV, SVOD, and film, as well as the company’s growing slate of original digital series, which is the fastest-growing driver of revenue for the popular online media company. Current productions at global digital media company include the live morning show AM to DM for Twitter and the dating series RelationShipped fro Facebook. This also includes Follow This, BuzzFeed News’ latest venture for Netflix as well as Brother Orange, a feature film in development with Warner Bros.
In addition, she will be responsible for creating and developing series concepts drawing from IP and talent from BuzzFeed. This includes BuzzFeed News as well as anything under the umbrella of BuzzFeed Media Brands. She will be based in Los Angeles and report to Jonah Peretti, Founder and CEO of BuzzFeed. Rachel Etheredge, Hieu Ho and Tal Shachar will now report directly to Dolgen.
Dolgen most recently was Head of West Coast Development for Viceland where she oversaw the West Coast-based production and development for the joint venture between Vice Media and A+E Networks where she oversaw the production of Hate Thy Neighbor. Before Viceland, Dolgen served as EVP, Series Development and Head of Unscripted Programming at MTV where she began her career after graduating from college. She worked her way up as a development executive and oversaw some of the network’s most influential series including the 16 and Pregnant/Teen Mom franchise. In addition, Dolgen oversaw Rob Dyrdek’s Ridiculousness, Are You The One?, America’s Best Dance Crew, and The Real World.
Here is Peretti’s internal memo announcing Dolgen’s hire:
I’m excited to share that Lauren Dolgen — a veteran creative executive with a long track record of success at MTV and Vice — will join us May 21 as our new Head of BuzzFeed Studios.
Lauren joins us from Viceland where she served as Head of West Coast Development, overseeing West Coast production and development for the network. In that role, she drew from across the Vice portfolio to develop series concepts, collaborated with external production partners, and worked closely on projects with the company’s international offices across Australia, Canada, and the UK. Before Vice, Lauren was EVP, Series Development and Head of Unscripted Programming at MTV, capping a nearly 20-year career at the network in which she had a hand in some of its biggest reality series, from “Jackass” to “The Real World” to “Are You The One?” to “Teen Mom.”
When I met Lauren, she struck me as the perfect candidate for the job — really smart in her thinking about generating and developing ideas, insightful about working with talent, and super knowledgeable about production management. Her sensibility is also very BuzzFeed, in that she loves pop culture and tackling not-so-serious subjects in really smart, relevant ways. She created “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom” — one of the most successful and social impactful reality franchises in history — after reading an article about teen pregnancy. And at Viceland she most recently oversaw “Hate Thy Neighbor,” which examines the Alt-Right movement through the lens of an English comedian.
In her role, Lauren will oversee all of our external and internal development, creating and developing new series concepts from IP and talent across BuzzFeed, including BuzzFeed News and the lifestyle portfolio under BuzzFeed Media Brands. She’ll be based in our L.A. office and Rachel Etheredge, Hieu Ho and Tal Shachar will report directly to her. Lauren will report directly to me. With projects in production or development across broadcast, cable, SVOD and film, and our biggest slate of original digital series to date hitting this year, there is a ton of potential in our Studio business that we’re just beginning to unlock. I’m excited to see where we take it under Lauren’s leadership.
Thanks for joining me in welcoming Lauren, and for all you do for BuzzFeed!