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Discovery Communications president and CEO David Zaslav and Discovery Networks International president JB Perrette have tapped company veteran Marjorie Kaplan as president of content for Discovery Networks International as the TV company continues to emphasize its growth opportunities abroad.
In the newly created role, Kaplan will be the international content leader “responsible for strategy, coordination and execution of all the division’s content and brand strategies across the entire portfolio and on all platforms worldwide,” Discovery said. She will report to Perrette and relocate to Discovery’s international headquarters in London in October.
Since last year, Kaplan has served as group president for TLC, Animal Planet and Velocity. Discovery didn’t immediately name a successor in that role. Given that the three networks have general managers, it wasn’t immediately clear if Kaplan’s current post would be filled.
“There is no one more talented, dynamic and strategic to lead Discovery’s international content strategy than Marjorie Kaplan,” said Zaslav. “She has an unparalleled track record of developing breakthrough content across brands and demographics that travels well internationally, receives critical acclaim and brings in big audiences. Marjorie also has a sharp eye for content that is genre- and format-busting, which should serve the company extremely well in this new position.”
He added: “Discovery’s international business is the company’s key differentiator, and I am excited to watch Marjorie take our global content engine to the next level.”
Said Perrette: “Marjorie is one of the most respected leaders externally and internally as a fantastic collaborator, creative programmer and preferred partner to the production community. Our global content capability and expertise is our most important asset, and I am thrilled to have some of Marjorie’s immense talent to help drive our international content strategy.”
Kaplan said: “I am excited to join the international leadership team and to partner with them on a global creative culture that generates brand-building content and ambitious intellectual property that can help Discovery soar in all of the 220 countries and territories where our brands are already strong.”
Phil Craig, Discovery Networks International’s chief creative officer, who took on his role six months ago, will report to Kaplan, as will Rosemary Newell, senior vp programming & content operations.
Kaplan will lead the DNI production & development team, working with Discovery’s regional managing directors and heads of content to ensure that the pipeline of content is “strong, vibrant and forward-leaning,” the company said. She will work closely with Discovery’s production companies betty, Raw and All3Media. With Discovery’s recent acquisition of the exclusive TV and multi-platform rights to the 2018-2024 Olympic Games across Europe, she will “look to create new content and storytelling ideas that maximize the value of the Olympic franchise across Europe,” Discovery said.
Kaplan is a nearly 20-year veteran of Discovery Communications. Among other things, she launched Discovery Kids and in 2007 took over Animal Planet. In 2014, she also took on the leadership of TLC.
Kaplan’s creative work has included work on such hits include Whale Wars, River Monsters, Alaska Bush People, My Big Fat Fabulous Life and I Am Jazz.
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