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Discovery Reorganizes U.S. Networks

Ford out, Schleiff, Michalchyshyn take on larger roles 12/18/2009 05:11:00 PM Eastern

Just a few weeks after naming Peter Liguori its new COO,
Discovery is reorganizing the senior executive structure at its U.S.
networks.

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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