Discovery Networks International Names Phil Craig Chief Creative Officer

JB Perrette, head of Discovery Networks International - P 2014

The executive joins from Australian broadcaster ABC in the newly created role and will report to JB Perrette

Discovery Communications has named international producer and network executive Phil Craig to the new role of executive vp and chief creative officer for Discovery Networks International.

Craig will lead the company's international production and development team and report to JB Perrette, president of Discovery Networks International. Based in London, he will start in February.

Craig joins Discovery from Australian broadcaster ABC where he has held the post of head of factual since 2012, based in Sydney.

"It is a hugely exciting time for the company, with international revenues now exceeding those in the U.S., and the incredible momentum of our international network portfolio which just delivered a third straight record quarter in viewership," said Perrette. "Great content is at the heart of that success and this role is critical for our plans to further grow brands, networks and audiences around the world. Phil has an impressive track record of creating hit series and nurturing great creative talent, which together with his unique global experience, makes him the perfect choice."

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Craig will develop factual and lifestyle content primarily for flagship global networks Discovery Channel and TLC, and will work collaboratively with his U.S. counterparts on content sharing and development. Craig also will help champion the development, production and sharing of regionally and locally produced content and formats across Discovery’s five international operating regions.

"Being offered this incredible job feels like re-connecting with a great friend," said Craig. "Ten years ago, Discovery asked me to make The Flight That Fought Back. After that, I produced and executive produced many hours for Discovery Channel all over the world. My first ambition is to lead with energy, imagination and passion. I look forward to growing the business still further, in close collaboration with colleagues at the U.S. networks and across all the local and regional markets, as Discovery Networks International continues to establish itself as a world-leading commissioner of original, quality programming across all platforms."

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During Craig's time at ABC, he led a team that was responsible for over 150 hours of original content. Craig drove a number of high-profile initiatives, including Redesign My Brain, which now airs on Science channel as Hack My Brain, and Stop At Nothing, a Lance Armstrong documentary. Craig also was in charge of WWI commemoration documentaries.

Prior to his role at ABC, Craig worked for U.K. independent producer Nutopia, where he took charge of the Discovery series How We Invented the World and was originating producer on hit series The 80s, The Decade That Made Us and How We Got To Now With Stephen Johnson.

Earlier in his career Craig had tenures with the BBC, where he was senior producer on current affairs series Panorama, and with Granada TV.

The new Discovery position was created as the combination of the roles of chief content officer and creative director, head of production and development for Discovery Networks International, previously held by Luis Silberwasser and Julian Bellamy, respectively. They left Discovery earlier in 2014.

Twitter: @georgszalai