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Inside BuzzFeed’s Hollywood Adventure

BuzzFeed set out to reinvent Hollywood. It turns out that Hollywood reinvented BuzzFeed.

Five years after launching a film and TV business with an unconventional emphasis on audience data and fast program development, BuzzFeed Studios is changing tack. The company’s recent hiring of former MTV executive Lauren Dolgen to lead its studio division coincides with a shift toward more traditional approaches to making films and TV shows. 

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CORRECTION: BuzzFeed Studios is not contemplating selling international rights to raise money for programming, as an earlier version of this article incorrectly reported. Also, Matthew Henick was hired solely by Ze Frank. The earlier version said Jonah Peretti was involved with the decision. And BuzzFeed Studios made “Quinta vs. Everything” for Facebook Watch but did not sell the show to the platform, as the earlier version incorrectly said. The studio did sell “RelationShipped” to Facebook Watch.

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Joe Lonsdale
Joe Lonsdale
Founding Partner, Eight
Chamath Palihapitiya
Chamath Palihapitiya
Founder & Managing Partner, SocialCapital
Tina Sharkey
Tina Sharkey
CEO, Brandless
Jonah Peretti
Jonah Peretti
CEO, Buzzfeed
Adam D'Angelo
Adam D'Angelo
CEO, Quora
Brit Morin
Brit Morin
Founder & CEO, Brit + CO
Dustin Moskovitz
Dustin Moskovitz
Co-Founder, Asana
Christina Miller
Christina Miller
President & General Manager, Turner
Max Levchin
Max Levchin
CEO, Affirm
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Adam Mosseri
Director of Product, Facebook
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Alex Mather
The Athletic
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Martha Josephson
Partner, Egon Zehnder
James Murdoch
James Murdoch
Co-Chief Operating Officer, 21st Century Fox
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Andrew Kortina
Founder, Venmo
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Ben Chestnut
Co-Founder & CEO, Mailchimp
Ruchi Sanghvi
Ruchi Sanghvi
VP Operations, Dropbox
Executives believed that BuzzFeed’s intimate understanding of its audience’s exact needs would prove much more valuable to ensuring success than traditional studio research teams could provide.