TLC brass decides the west is best


TLC is relocating to Los Angeles next year. The news comes just a couple months after L.A.-based Angela Shapiro-Mathes took over as head of the Discovery Communications-owned channel.

When Shapiro-Mathes was named president and GM of TLC in April, Discovery said she would run the channel as its first bicoastal network with presences in both Hollywood and Discovery's headquarters in Silver Spring, Md.

But in an e-mail sent to employees Monday, Shapiro-Mathes said it makes more sense to operate the network out of one location. The executive, who officially started her post July 1, wrote that the decision to relocate TLC came after an extensive two-month review of the network's operations and structure.

"It is clear, after much discussion, that to achieve the greatest level of success both from a creative and financial standpoint, TLC should be operated as a consolidated business unit based solely in Los Angeles," she wrote. "As a consequence, the TLC network team will be located in Los Angeles as of Jan. 1, 2008, with a small number of roles based in New York."

TLC will be headquartered at Discovery's Century City offices after the move. About 50 employees will be affected, with several of those relocating to Los Angeles. Discovery is planning to place as many of the remaining employees as it can in other positions across the company, though several staffers will be leaving as a result of the move.

"Locating the entire team in Los Angeles will have many benefits," Shapiro-Mathes wrote. "We will fully develop our industry contacts and relationships. We will be top of mind with the most important producers as they seek partners and opportunities. Simply put, to truly exploit the creative and development population based in Los Angeles, geography matters, and TLC needs to be on the ground."

David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Communications, named Shapiro-Mathes head of TLC in April, just a few months after he joined the company. She had been serving as president of Fox TV Studios. At TLC, she replaced former president and GM David Abraham, who was among several senior executives who departed the network after a major shakeup of the company announced by Zaslav in February.
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