Viceland Executive Jumps to BuzzFeed Studios

Lauren Dolgen Headshot - Publicity - H 2018
Courtesy of Buzzfeed

Lauren Dolgen, who previously ran West Coast development for Viceland, is taking over as head of BuzzFeed Studios, a position vacated by Matthew Henick in March.

BuzzFeed has tapped a Vice executive to lead its entertainment arm. 

Lauren Dolgen, who spent the last year running West Coast development at Viceland, has been named head of BuzzFeed Studios, a role that will give her oversight of the digital publisher's slate of original programming. Dolgen, who replaces Matthew Henick in the role, will be based out of Los Angeles and will report to BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti

"Lauren's fun, irreverent sensibility, her great eye for talent, and her obsession with pop culture make her the perfect fit for BuzzFeed," Peretti said Monday 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." In a memo to employees provided to The Hollywood Reporter, Peretti also called Dolgen "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." 

BuzzFeed began its push into digital and traditional video production in 2014 with the creation of BuzzFeed Motion Pictures. The division, renamed BuzzFeed Studios as part of a reorganization earlier year, currently has about 40 employees and focuses on adapting BuzzFeed IP for film, television and digital. Henick departed the company in March for a position at Facebook and BuzzFeed had been on the hunt for an experienced Hollywood executive to fill his role. 

In Dolgen, BuzzFeed has found a development executive with more than 20 years of experience. Prior to joining Viceland in 2017, Dolgen spent nearly two decades at MTV, rising up to become head of unscripted programming and overseeing such shows as Teen Mom before she left the company in 2016. 

"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," said Dolgen. "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." 

BuzzFeed currently produces the daily live show AM to DM for Twitter. It also is working on Follow This for Netflix and has Brother Orange in development at Warner Bros. In addition to those projects, Dolgen will be tasked with building new digital video brands to add to an existing slate of such series as Worth It and Ladylike