Dolgen to offer insights, advice at symposium
Jonathan Dolgen‘s prepping for a third act.“I’m starting to see if there’s a way I could be involved in acquiring a media property,” he says. “If I find something that’s really interesting for me to do, I think I’m going to do it. And if I don’t, no harm, no foul.” Except for joining the board of Paul Allen‘s Charter Communications, Dolgen’s been mostly under the radar since his June departure from Viacom as chair of its entertainment group and as Par’s co-studio head. But he’s proffering biz insights as keynote speaker Feb. 12 at the UCLA Entertainment Symposium. Dolgen ankled a day after Viacom chief operating officer Mel Karmazin stepped down. At the time Dolgen asserted, “I’ve got a chance for one more chapter — and I want one more chapter.” He also said his first goal was to find a really great pair of flip-flops, a remark that resulted in about a dozen pair being sent to him — not one of which fit. Eight months later, Dolgen’s fine with no longer being the 24/7 exec he was for three decades at Par, Fox and Columbia. “I was usually pretty much the last car out of the parking lot my whole life, so not doing that is kind of riveting,” he says. As the chief numbers exec for a decade at Par, Dolgen remains unapologetic about his rep for being tough on costs, mainly because the studio stayed profitable and there was never a major work force cut. He has opened a small office in Beverly Hills, and he’s got plenty to say about the media biz, which he plans to share during his UCLA appearance. Some of his observations:
- Companies need to be in a constant state of change. “If you had a good idea 20 years ago, it doesn’t mean it’s going to be a good idea 20 years later,” he says.
- Cost doesn’t equal quality — or success. “If you don’t produce quality and what people want, the market punishes you,” he notes.