Dick Clark topper moves company forward

As a lieutenant in the Israeli army, Orly Adelson learned that if she was sent in to do a job, she might as well be the boss.

Carrying an Uzi also made a difference, the former soldier jokes, but adds: “The truth is I learned discipline and teamwork in the military. I know when to stand my ground, but also how to react when that ground starts shifting.”

As president of Dick Clark Prods., Adelson is responsible for the production, marketing and development of the company’s traditional programs, including “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” with Ryan Seacrest, the Golden Globes, the American Music Awards and the Academy of Country Music Awards, with the latter two snagging significant ratings increases this year, 18% and 24%, respectively, with adults 18-34. The company also has branched out with the ratings winner “So You Think You Can Dance” and the much-buzzed-about series “Shaq vs.,” which bowed in August on ABC.

Adelson’s greatest coup, however, may be boosting the company’s staff while other companies have been forced into layoffs due to the sagging economy.

When the veteran pic/miniseries producer came to Dick Clark in February 2008, she aggressively moved forward with plans to broaden the iconic brand by producing additional shows that would appear on a wide range of networks. Adelson also is knocking on the scripted programming door.

“It’s not a specific kind of movie or series, but more what speaks to us and to our brand,” Adelson explains. “… They have to be family friendly and span generations.”

Adelson leans heavily on her philosophy of assuring everyone within the company that they have a stake in making DCP better.

“Maybe it’s my army background that makes me know that you can’t do it alone,” she says.

IN A NUTSHELL

Job title: President, Dick Clark Prods.

Role models: “Sherry Lansing and my mother, not necessarily in that order.”

Career mantra: “How can we do it better?”

Leisure pursuits: “Traveling with my family.”

Philanthropic passion: Jack & Jill Late Stage Cancer Foundation for children who have a parent in late-stage cancer

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more