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Discovery Communications has restructured the top senior positions for its entire cable portfolio.
The move marks the company’s effort to build on “strong ratings momentum, increasing investment in original content and to create a more complementary set of portfolio groups overall.”
Discovery Communications group president Eileen O’Neill, who oversaw Discovery Channel and TLC, will now be in charge of Discovery Channel, Science Channel and Velocity. Science Channel will continue to be led by general manager Debbie Myers, and Velocity will continue to be overseen by general manager Bob Scanlon. Both now report to O’Neill.
Group president Marjorie Kaplan will continue to oversee Animal Planet, while adding TLC under her purview. TLC general manager Nancy Daniels will report to Kaplan.
Additionally, group president Henry Schleiff will add Discovery Fit and Health to his responsibilities, which already include oversight of Investigation Discovery, Destination America and American Heroes Channel. Destination America general manager Marc Etkind and American Heroes Channel general manager Kevin Bennett remain in their positions.
The executive shifts are effective immediately. They were announced Thursday by David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Communications.
“Eileen O’Neill, Marjorie Kaplan and Henry Schleiff all have built big brands, outstanding programming slates, and first-rate creative organizations. It is impressive. They are fighting hard every day in a crowded, consolidating and technologically dynamic market — and the effort shows,” Zaslav wrote in an internal email to staff. “Through Eileen, Marjorie and Henry’s leadership, hard work and sheer force of personality, we have created a global content engine powered by a $1.5 billion annual investment. As we look to build on this success and ensure our ability to continue taking marketshare in the years ahead, I believe it’s prudent to have a more balanced allocation of resources across the rest of the portfolio.”
Zaslav touts the executive restructuring as setting up “a more balanced and optimized portfolio and maximizes the strength of the company’s creative engine to drive Discovery’s global growth in the future.”
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Portia de Rossi
James Gordon Meek