Lauren Dolgen, the veteran MTV producer who had a strong hand in that network’s “Teen Mom” and “16 and Pregnant” franchises, will join BuzzFeed as head of its BuzzFeed Studios, and will oversee the company’s slate of original content.
Dolgen, who recently was head of West Coast development for the Viceland cable network, will supervise original productions for TV, video-on-demand, film and digital, drawing from intellectual property found in BuzzFeed News and other parts of the digital-content company. She will be based in Los Angeles and report to Jonah Peretti, the company’s founder and CEO.
She joins after the early-March departure of Matthew Henick, who left a job overseeing BuzzFeed’s efforts to make TV shows and films for a similar role at Facebook.
“Lauren’s fun, irreverent sensibility, her great eye for talent, and her obsession with pop culture make her the perfect fit for BuzzFeed,”said Peretti in a statement. “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.”
Current BuzzFeed productions include the live morning show “AM to DM” for Twitter; interactive dating series “RelationShipped” for Facebook; BuzzFeed News’s recently announced “Follow This” for Netflix; and feature film “Brother Orange,” currently in development with Warner Bros. Dolgen will also oversee efforts to significantly increase the company’s slate of original digital series, including “Worth It,” “Ladylike,” and “BuzzFeed Unsolved.” Citing research, the company said time spent on BuzzFeed video available via YouTube grew 55% in the first quarter of 2018 over the year-earlier period.
“I am excited about the endless creative possibilities at Buzzfeed, and I have huge respect for its teams creating tons of great content every day — from news to entertainment to the glorious food porn to, of course, the quizzes that I can’t get enough of. I love that it’s a place that is playful, but doesn’t shy away from the issues important to its audience. It’s an extraordinary world to dive into and I’m grateful to Jonah for giving me a shot to build on the work of its amazing people,” Dolgen said in a statement.
At Viceland, a joint venture of Vice Media and A+E Networks, Dolgen supervised current series such as “Hate Thy Neighbor,” a co-production with Vice UK, and developed internal concepts, while collaborating with external partners and Vice’s international offices.
Prior to joining Viceland, Dolgen was executive vice president, series development and head of unscripted programming at MTV, where she spent nearly 20 years. During her time there, she had a hand in everything from “Jackass” to “The Real World.”