Smithsonian Channel Programming Chief to Depart

David Royle
Mary Kouw/CBS

Long-time Smithsonian Channel programming chief David Royle is leaving the ViacomCBS network.

Royle, executive vp programming and production, is stepping down to pursue other ventures. His departure comes on the heels of ViacomCBS naming PBS NewsHour veteran James F. Blue III as head of the nonfiction network, a joint venture between Showtime and the Smithsonian Institute.

Royle has been with Smithsonian Networks since its launch in 2007. He's in charge of commissioning and acquiring series, specials and feature films for the network; some of Smithsonian Channel's recent offerings include Aerial America, The Pacific War in Color, America's Hidden Stories and the upcoming Tomb Hunters.

Like other channels within ViacomCBS' MTV Entertainment Group, Smithsonian has undergone some changes in its executive ranks following the merger of the two companies. Blue replaced Tom Hayden, who founded the channel in 2006 but was pushed out in the spring amid corporate restructuring.

Prior to joining Smithsonian Networks, Royle was executive vp production for National Geographic Television & Film. He was an executive producer of the long-running Explorer series and oversaw productions including Taboo and SuperCroc, among others. He has won eight News & Documentary Emmy Awards, most recently in 2016 for Smithsonian's Rise of Animals: Triumph of the Vertebrates.

Deadline first reported the news.