Discovery Adds Documentary Executive

Peabody winner John Hoffman will oversee documentaries and specials

Discovery is expanding its documentary and specials.

The network has tapped John Hoffman to serve as exec vp documentaries and specials, the cabler announced Thursday.

Starting immediately, Hoffman — a Peabody and five-time Emmy winner — will oversee all development activities in the alternative and specials area. He will produce original documentary programming from development through production, commission and acquire films and specials and be responsible for developing cross-platform programming.

“Documentaries remain an integral part of what we do and who we are at Discovery,” newly installed Discovery president Rich Ross said. "Given our legacy, our documentary filmmaking must be valued and protected. John is one of the best in our business, and his filmmaking experience, coupled with his ability to bring together unprecedented partnerships, will keep Discovery moving forward as leaders in groundbreaking and award-winning documentary films."

Hoffman previously served as CEO of the Public Good Projects, a nonprofit production company he founded in 2013 to provide innovative media that makes complex health problems easier to understand so people can take better care of themselves and their families. His company’s first film, Sleepless in America, which explored the sleep loss epidemic in the U.S., aired on the National Geographic Channel in 2014 and Hoffman served as director and executive producer.

Before that, Hoffman worked at HBO Documentary Films for 17 years where, in addition to his executive role as vp, he most recently executive produced and directed the The Weight of the Nation. His credits also include The Alzheimer’s Project, All Aboard! Rosie’s Family CruiseLast Letters Home: Voices of American Troops From the Battlefields of IraqA Rape in a Small Town: The Florence Holway Story, In Memoriam: New York City, 9/11/01 and Paragraph 175, among others.  

The news comes a day after Discovery tapped John Goldwyn to oversee scripted fare as the cabler pushes further into originals.