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Digital executive producer

Hooshere Bezdikian is an executive producer and vice president of digital at People’s Choice Awards. She parlayed her religious studies major and chemistry minor at the University of Virginia into a job as a Web producer at a startup in New York, then graduated to product management before becoming an executive producer at Time Inc. Jay Woodruff interviewed her in January.

How close did the People’s Choice folks come to firing you once they realized they’d hired an executive producer who wasn’t an executive producer of TV shows?

Ha! They had the TV production under control and needed someone who could establish a real presence for them across all digital platforms.

So how’d you go from producing digital products to producing the TV show?

It started with our live red-carpet arrivals show. We stream it online, which falls under my jurisdiction, and my responsibilities just sort of expanded from there. The skills are pretty transferable—project management, traffic cop, etc. And since I’m technically savvy [she’s managed digital technology for more than 12 years], the leap from digital to TV was less daunting than the other way around might be. The technical foundation is imperative.

So give us your Tweetable definition of a digital executive producer.

I’m the nerd disguised as the cool chick who gets people to do stuff.

How’d you get into this racket?

When I graduated from college, I wanted nothing more than to pursue a career in music—I’ve been singing my whole life. But being a starving artist was simply not an option for me. So I landed a job at a startup, where I learned everything there was to know about the Internet at the time.

You’re also an accomplished recording artist.¬†What song comes closest to capturing the feeling of being an executive producer?

Depends on the day! Sometimes it’s “Stuck in the Middle,” but once in a while it’s “Girl on Fire.”

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Jay Woodruff is a former editor at Esquire, Entertainment Weekly and EW.com, and is the co-founder of Affinity Resource Group, a Montclair-based recruiting firm focused on digital media and technology