Marc Graboff Takes Key Role at Discovery Communications

Marc Graboff Executive Suite - H 2013
Christopher Patey

Marc Graboff Executive Suite - H 2013

The NBC vet will join the company in April as president of global business and legal affairs, production management and studios.

Longtime NBC executive Marc Graboff is heading to Discovery.

The television veteran, who rounded out his tenure atop Core Media this past fall, will join Discovery Communications in April as president of global business and legal affairs, production management and studios. In his new role, Graboff will oversee Discovery's overall business affairs and production management strategies, with day-to-day oversight of areas including acquisitions, development and production for all of Discovery's networks and digital platforms globally. He'll remain in Los Angeles and will report to general counsel Bruce Campbell

"In addition to being one of the most fantastic executives and dealmakers in media, Marc is a universally admired and respected person ... his business acumen and expertise matched only by the trust and relationships he has built across the industry," said Discovery CEO David Zaslav in a statement announcing the news Tuesday. "Bruce and I look forward to Marc's leadership to help grow our marketshare by accelerating our current production engines, acquiring more IP across new genres and formats, and bringing more of the world's top production partners to Discovery."

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As part of the reshuffling, Lee Bartlett, who previously served as executive vp global production management, business and legal affairs, has been promoted to president of the Studios Group. The latter had been earmarked for Eileen O'Neill, who will leave the company after 25 years. Bartlett will report to Graboff and will serve both a creative and management role leading Discovery Studios.

"Content production and acquisition are top areas of focus for Discovery, and in Marc we've added one of the industry's most well-respected dealmakers and business strategists to guide our next phase of growth," added Campbell. "Our acquisitions of Betty, Raw and All3Media, along with the increased investment behind Discovery Studios, present a tremendous growth opportunity as viewers' appetites and our networks' needs for more engaging original content increase globally.  I look forward to Marc and Lee's leadership across this critical part of our business."

Graboff brings with him a rich history in television, having led such landmark deals as American Idol while at Core; Friends and The Voice for NBC; and Survivor and CSI for CBS. Prior to Core, which he joined in early 2012, the trained lawyer spent 15 years in leadership roles at NBCUniversal, most recently as president of West Coast business operations for NBCUniversal TV Entertainment. Graboff, who was the first employee in the CAA mailroom before heading off to Loyola Law School, spent many years at CBS before that. This gig puts him back into a dealmaking position, for which he has one of the strongest reputations in the business.

"Discovery Communications is on the leading edge of shaping the content strategies for an increasingly global television industry,” said Graboff. “I am thrilled to join David, Bruce and the rest of Discovery’s first-class management team to help maintain and grow Discovery's position as the world's number-one pay-TV programmer.”