The Write Stuff: Dawn Chmielewski ’83

Dawn Chmielewski 83

As a staff writer, she found her niche reporting on entertainment, technology and media, and went on to senior editor positions at technology news website Re/code, Deadline Hollywood, and most recently, Forbes, where she’s served as senior editor for media, entertainment, and technology since January 2019. 

As a journalism student at UC, Dawn Chmielewski dreamed of working for The New York Times, “like any budding journalist who grew up in the Watergate era,” she says. Instead, Chmielweski spent nearly a decade working for the most revered newspaper on the other coast: The Los Angeles Times. As a staff writer, she found her niche reporting on entertainment, technology and media, and went on to senior editor positions at technology news website Re/code, Deadline Hollywood, and most recently, Forbes, where she’s served as senior editor for media, entertainment, and technology since January 2019.

Today, the award-winning journalist is working on her first book with former colleague Dade Hayes, Binge Times: Inside The High-Stakes Scramble By HBO, Disney, Hulu (... And Apple, Amazon and Everyone Else) To Catch Netflix, an in-depth exploration of the streaming video zeitgeist. It hits bookshelves in 2021.

 

Congrats on your upcoming book! Tell us more about it. 

It’s really the first book to bring readers inside this cultural and business transformation of streaming video. It will capitalize on all of the color and voice and incident in the story of traditional media companies and technology giants racing to catch up with Netflix. Along the way, it will explain key turning points, explore the competitive landscape, introduce an ensemble cast of indelible characters, and trace a historical arc. Built into the narrative are the questions of whether the incumbents can reinvent themselves, and whether executives steeped in the Hollywood’s old ways can fashion a new vision for the future.
 

What’s the last show you binge-watched? 

HBO’s Succession. I was drawn in to the show after profiling the Redstone’s family saga for the Forbes 400 issue of the magazine. It’s a riveting tale of power, ambition and ruthlessness that feels ripped from the headlines. Lately I also love Amazon’s Fleabag, the Emmy Award-winning comedy from Phoebe Waller-Bridge (who created another of my favorite shows, Killing Eve). I’m in awe of her ability to take the viewer through a range of emotions, from laughing at her acid-wit to cringing at her awkwardness to weeping at her painful confessions.
 

Favorite class at UC? 

Kim Landon’s Reporting on Public Affairs class. It offered an introduction to the caffeine-fueled adrenaline ride that is journalism.

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