Ostroff joined Lifetime Television in October 1996 as Senior Vice President, Programming and Production. She was Executive Vice President of Lifetime starting in 1999.
Ostroff served as President of UPN Entertainment from February 11, 2002 until 2006, when she joined The CW, considered America's youngest skewing broadcast network, and Dawn Ostroff was in charge of the network’s primetime slate, which during the 2010-2011 season featured series including The Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girl, Life Unexpected, One Tree Hill, America’s Next Top Model, 90210, Supernatural and Smallville, as well as new series Nikita, starring Maggie Q, and Hellcats, starring Aly Michalka and Ashley Tisdale. She was in charge of all creative efforts of the network and oversees such areas as current programming, series development, scheduling, research, marketing and publicity.
Ostroff was born to a Jewish family and is a graduate of Florida International University in Miami, Florida, where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in journalism. She resides in New York, NY with her husband Mark Ostroff and their four children: Justin, Jonathan, Michael, and Lane. Justin and Jonathan are both graduates of the University of Pennsylvania. They are currently working in finance. Michael and Lane attend day schools in New York.
Ostroff has also devoted herself over the years to working with several organizations such as A Place Called Home, which helps children in South Central Los Angeles, and the Independent School Alliance as well as the American Jewish Committee.
- Steigrad, Alexandra (11 December 2013). "Dawn Ostroff Talks Condé Nast's Digital Strategy". WWD. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
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- CW Gaining in Young Women
- CW Revamps Its Primetime Line-up
- Dawn Ostroff CW Biography
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- Jewish Journal: "Balance Paramount to UPN Head Ostroff" by Soriya Daniels June 24, 2004
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- Balance Paramount to UPN Head Ostroff Archived 2009-01-08 at the Wayback Machine.