Discovery Reorganizes U.S. Networks
Ford out, Schleiff, Michalchyshyn take on larger roles
By Alex Weprin -- Broadcasting & Cable, 12/18/2009 12:11:03 PM
As part of the reorg, Discovery Channel President and GM John Ford will step down, with Discovery's emerging networks' chief Clark Bunting becoming president and GM of Discovery Channel and Science Channel. Debbie Myers will remain GM of Science Channel, reporting to Bunting.
Henry Schleiff, who joined the company as president and GM of Investigation Discovery in August, will also take responsibility for Military Channel and HD Theater.
Laura Michalchyshyn, who took over Planet Green in February, will add FitTV and Discovery Health (until it becomes OWN in 2011) to her plate.
Carole Tomko, who had been in charge of Discovery Studios, FitTV and Discovery Health, will shift her focus entirely to Discovery Studios in advance of production of Discovery's five-year Curiosity series.
Animal Planet President and GM Marjorie Kaplan and TLC President and GM Eileen O'Neill will remain in their current roles.
The programming moves are meant to align networks with similar audiences and programming under a more unified leadership.
Bunting, Schleiff, Michalchyshyn, O'Neill and Kaplan will continue to report to Discovery CEO David Zaslav, with Tomko now reporting to Liguori.
Elsewhere, David Leavy, executive VP of corporate affairs and global communications, will add oversight of government relations, and CFO Brad Singer will now oversee the Enterprise Operational Services group.
"Across our portfolio, Discovery's U.S. networks have delivered solid ratings strength and revenue growth over the past year," said David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Communications. "With today's announcement, we are recognizing the inherent operational efficiencies that exist between our brands and getting the most from the exceptional creative talent we have on our roster.
I am confident that the changes announced today will enable us to further strengthen our content pipeline, build a more efficient operational structure, and better exploit the company's valuable beachfront real estate," he added.
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