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  • Writer's pictureCharles Luberisse

Behind The Lens: Barking Owl Names Carol Dunn As Managing Director


 

Award-winning music, audio post-production and sonic branding company Barking Owl has named Carol Dunn as its new Managing Director, effective immediately. The longtime industry stalwart assumes the day-to-day duties of the company’s founder and Creative Director, Kelly Bayett, who transitions to the strategic creative oversight role of Executive Creative Director.

 

As Managing Director, Dunn will push forward Barking Owl’s day-to-day mission of “being the trusted audio partner of the greatest companies in the world” in tandem with Creative Director (CD) Johanna Cranitch, who joined the company in November and oversees its day-to-day creative, as well as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Kirkland Alexander Lynch, who joined the company in October and will continue to oversee the global strategy and operations functions of the business. Ashley Benton continues to lead production out of the company’s New York office for the East Coast territory and KC Hecker (neé Dossett) continues to lead production out of the company’s Los Angeles office for the Midwest and West Coast territories.

I have been a huge fan of Carol’s for decades. She and I have always wanted to find a way to work together, so when the time came for me to step back from Barking Owl, it felt like the time has finally come to work together! I know she will not only do a fantastic job, but will be able to grow and elevate the company farther than I could. Passing the baton to Carol is a dream come true. She not only has incredible taste, but her level of professionalism and understanding of the industry is unmatched. We feel incredibly fortunate to be able to add her to our parliament. 

Prior to joining Barking Owl, Carol Dunn served as West Coast Executive Producer at a leading music house where she spearheaded creative partnerships and oversaw audio production for commercials, film and TV, managing a team of 15 composers and producing projects for brands such as Nike, Doritos, Samsung, and Uber. Dunn’s extensive music career spans over 30 years, with her very first role being a switchboard operator at Capitol Records where she later became Head of Film & TV. Dunn’s passion for music and film, coupled with her inquisitive nature, helped her transition to producing notable soundtracks under the mentorship of renowned music supervisor Karyn Rachtman, contributing to films such as Boogie Nights, Stealing Beauty, Baz Lurhmann’s Romeo + Juliet, Bulworth, Rugrats I & II, and Office Space.


With the evolution of music delivery from physical media to digital streams and downloads, Carol moved into music publishing, honing her synch skills, before transitioning to the advertising side of the industry. Her journey in music houses started at Amber Music in 2006 and continued through a number of leading music houses before landing at Barking Owl in July 2024. Carol said:


My Queen’s Gambit is finally paying off. I’ve felt like an observer of my career for most of my life. But this move to Barking Owl is the deliberate, exacting manifestation of my hard work, sacrifice and dedicated 26-year love affair with music placement. My experience with managing teams on both the selling and buying sides of music marketing, provides me with a unique perspective on the challenges facing brands and agencies today. Working with Kirkland Alexander Lynch, I look forward to building on everything Kelly has done over the past decade with Barking Owl to bring new opportunities forward that will inspire & provoke our continued success —which of course lends to the success of the agency and brand partners we work with.

 

Dunn envisions music as another character in the film, thus driving her passion for storytelling in audio post-production for commercials. Beyond her production work, Dunn is dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion within the advertising industry.


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