Credits roll on Koppel's docs at Discovery

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Former ABC News "Nightline" anchor Ted Koppel and Discovery Communications are parting ways.

Koppel, who joined Discovery Channel in January 2006 as managing editor, and Discovery agreed to terminate his documentary group's three-year contract about six months ahead of the May end date. He said that executive producer Tom Bettag and the eight other members of the staff that had left "Nightline" to go to Discovery have a "generous settlement" that doesn't put them in immediate pressure to find a new job.

Koppel's departure had been long rumored as the deal was left over from former president Billy Campbell's tenure at the channel. Under CEO David Zaslav and Discovery Networks chief John Ford, Discovery has taken a new direction.

"It was like oil and water; it didn't mix particularly well," Koppel said. "They couldn't have been nicer and more generous about letting us do what we did. Tom and I never were under any pressure to do anything we didn't want to do."

During his time at Discovery, Koppel has done 15 hours of programming, including a four-hour series on China.

He still does commentaries for National Public Radio and works for BBC World News. (partialdiff)
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