Discovery Communications Names CFO, Rejigs Executive Duties

Discovery Communications Building - P 2011

Police cars are seen at the gate of the Discovery Channel headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, on September 1, 2010. A gunman fired several shots and took at least one person hostage on September 1 at the Discovery Channel headquarters near Washington, media reports said, quoting police who feared the assailant might have a bomb. Local media reports quoted police as saying the man entered the lobby of the building and fired a weapon five or six times before declaring: "Nobody is going anywhere."

Andrew Warren will take over the finance functions at the cable networks group, with several top executives splitting up duties previously held by former COO Peter Liguori who recently left the company.

NEW YORK - Discovery Communications on Monday said it has named Liz Claiborne CFO and former General Electric/NBCUniversal executive Andrew Warren senior executive vp and CFO.

It also promoted several executives who will take over some the duties that were previously part of the portfolioof former COO Peter Liguori who left the cable network group as of the end of 2011.

Succeeding Brad Singer who previously announced that he is leaving Discovery at the end of March, Warren will join Discovery on March 26 and be based at the company's headquarters in Silver Spring, Md.  

Warren also will oversee Discovery’s Media Technology, Production & Operations division and represent the company in its three U.S. joint ventures - OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, The Hub and 3net. Liguori previously handled the joint ventures.

"Having worked extensively with Andy at NBC Universal, I know firsthand what an effective and strategic leader he is, how knowledgeable and passionate he is about the media business, and what a great addition he will be to our already strong senior management team,” said Discovery president and CEO David Zaslav.

Among the executives being elevated, David Leavy has been promoted to the position of chief communications officer and senior executive vp, corporate marketing and affairs, reporting to Zaslav. In his new role, the top company spokesman adds centralized marketing functions to his responsibilities for global communications and corporate affairs.

Bruce Campbell, chief development officer and general counsel, is adding business affairs and global production management to his portfolio. Lee Bartlett, executive vp, global production management and business affairs will report to him. He will work with Bartlett to "continue attracting top producers and on-air talent for Discovery’s networks and increasing the company’s presence in the creative television community," the company said.

Chief digital officer JB Perrette, meanwhile, is adding oversight of Discovery’s Enterprise Operational Services department to his portfolio. The new role brings Discovery’s digital assets, social media platforms and information technology services under one roof.

Finally, Luis Silberwasser, executive vp and chief content officer for Discovery Networks International, is adding male-focused U.S. network Velocity to his responsibilities. Bob Scanlon, senior vp of Velocity, now reports to Silberwasser.

“With Andy onboard, and with the strategic realignments we announced today, I am confident that Discovery is very well positioned to continue delivering on our strategy for sustainable long-term growth in the U.S. and around the world with a lean and efficient structure that best deploys our outstanding talent and resources," Zaslav said.

Prior to joining Liz Claiborne, Warren spent 18 years at General Electric. His roles included those of executive vp and CFO of the NBC Universal Television Group.


Twitter: @georgszalai