Discovery Communications said Tuesday it will relocate its headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, where it employs roughly 1,300 people, to New York at the end of next year.
The move is contingent on the closing of Discovery’s $14.6 billion acquisition of Scripps Network Interactive, which is headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee. The merged company will maintain the Knoxville campus and Discovery will establish a “national operations headquarters” there.
Discovery, home to cable networks like TLC, Animal Planet and Discovery Channel, set up shop in Silver Spring 14 years ago, while prior to that it was in nearby Bethesda. It is expected to sell its Silver Spring building at One Discovery Place, where it occupies 545,000 square feet, in late 2019. The property is valued at about $144 million, according to the Washington Business Journal.
Discovery isn’t announcing any plans for staff reductions — if there are to be any — until after its merger closes with Scripps, home to HGTV, Travel Channel and DIY Network.
In a press release, though, Discovery said its plan is to “bring together all current Discovery and, pending closing of the transaction, Scripps employees currently located across several different facilities in New York in a new global headquarters.”
Discovery, which employs 7,000 people globally, said it will maintain a “Maryland network hub” to house select network functions and government relations, given its close proximity to the nation’s capital, and it will also maintain its technology and distribution facility in Sterling, Virginia.
“The decision to move our global headquarters from its founding home is one we do not make lightly,” said Discovery CEO David Zaslav. “The media industry is rapidly evolving, increasingly global, more consumer focused and more multi-platform and Discovery must evolve with it.”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Discovery’s decision to move its headquarters to the state is proof that New York has positioned itself “at the forefront of the 21st century economy.”