Women to Watch

Women to Watch: Dawn Ostroff, Conde Nast

President-Conde Nast Entertainment

By Published on .

There was a time when magazine publisher Conde Nast avoided any business line besides selling ad pages. But that memory seems increasingly obscured, and not just because a recent a recent recession and new competition smashed a quarter of the industry's pages into oblivion. The old days also are fading as Conde makes smart moves such as naming Dawn Ostroff president of a new Conde Nast Entertainment Group, a unit tasked with turning its brands and content into movies, TV and digital video.

Dawn Ostroff
Dawn Ostroff

Assembling her team was not as easy as poaching from similar groups at other publishers, because similar groups don't exist. "If we were launching a new magazine, then it would be kind of easier to take different people from different magazines," said Ms. Ostroff, a former president of The CW and UPN. "But in this case we're starting from scratch in every way."

Ms. Ostroff has a few positions left to fill, but her hires so far are underway on projects to bring to studios and networks. Consumers may see the first fruit soon. "Within the next year, or really six months, we'll be in a position where we will be already taking our strategy and moving forward with it," Ms. Ostroff said.

Knowing what you know now, what career advice would you have given yourself when you were starting out?

You have to really be passionate about what you want to do and you have to be persistent at all costs. You can just never give up. And you have to be patient.

What is your favorite book?
"Three Magic Words" by U.S. Andersen.

Give us one fact about yourself that will surprise people.
I really love rap music, which people would never expect.

What's your favorite kind of music?
Probably techno pop.

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