Mary Alice Dwyer-Dobbin
A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Mary Alice Dwyer Dobbin is an award-winning television executive with extensive experience in creative development, production, and management. Her nickname has been "Mickey" since childhood. She was married to the late Leon Dobbin, who was a retired NBC executive.
Her first television job was with Bob Stewart Productions, working on game shows, before joining Rankin/Bass Productions producing cartoons on the NBC and ABC Saturday-morning schedules.
Next she landed a job developing daytime shows at ABC as well as working on ABC Afterschool Special programs. One of the shows she helped birth was Ryan's Hope.
In 1976, she was promoted to director of children's programming and, that season, brought to air the Emmy-winning daytime special My Mom's Having a Baby, which the network subsequently broadcast in prime time.
A year later, she moved to NBC as director of daytime and kids programming and was subsequently promoted to vice president, children's programming. Most notably, she was responsible for bringing the Smurfs to the network. Without her, the characters may not have ever made it to the U.S.
In 1981 Dwyer-Dobbin became vice president, programming, for the cable-network startup Daytime, which merged with the Cable Health Network in 1983 to create Lifetime. There, she was in charge of The Dr. Ruth (Westheimer) Show on Lifetime - a live, call-in program that broke new ground back in 1983 when it premiered, and launched Dr. Ruth's career.
Eventually she returned to ABC Daytime as head of east coast programs in 1986 and soon became executive in charge of all programming and development for the division. Dennis Swanson, to whom she reported from 1991 to 1993 said about Dwyer-Dobbin, “Mickey is tireless, hands-on, tough, and fun to work with. She has an energy and a creative level that were unsurpassed.” ABC's daytime had been slipping when he took it over, and he gave her "a lot of credit" for getting it back on track.
In 1996, Dwyer-Dobbin was hired by Procter and Gamble Productions to be their head of production for their three daytime drama Guiding Light, As The World Turns and Another World, replacing veteran production head Kenneth Fitts in that capacity. (Unlike most daytime shows, which are owned either partly or wholly by their creators or the network, Procter and Gamble acted as a supplier of the show to the networks, and had a substantial say in how they were produced.)
Dwyer-Dobbin remained head of the P&G soaps for several years, and also served briefly as executive producer of Guiding Light while it sought a new executive producer.
On September 6, 2005, Dwyer-Dobbin announced plans to vacate her position the following month at the end of her contract. Procter & Gamble decided not to name a successor, saying that they would leave creative decisions to their programs' executive producers, Christopher Goutman and Ellen Wheeler.
Dwyer-Dobbin continued as an industry consultant and as a guest speaker for women's groups and Universities.
She is retired, spends much of her time traveling around the world, and lives in a New York suburb.
Awards & Recognition
Honorary PhD from Webster University, Doctor of Humane Letters, 2011
Inducted into NATAS Silver Circle http://www.nyemmys.org/silver-circle/
CableACE Award winner (1982); Emmy Award nominee (1979, 1980) http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1029180/awards?ref_=nm_awd
Kenneth L. Fitts
|Executive in Charge of Production for PGP soap operas
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