Laureen Ong has been tapped to helm National Geographic Channel as the network prepares for domestic launch. Ong leaves her post as vice president and general manager of Fox-owned WTTG-TV Washington, D.C. She will immediately assume oversight of the development and launch, as well as all day-to-day operations of the channel, and will be based at National Geographic Society's Washington headquarters.
She will report to a board made up of representatives from National Geographic and FOX, partners in the channel. Already available to 52 million international subscribers in 63 countries, Nat Geo is set to launch in the U.S. this winter.
According to Nat Geo, DirecTV will carry it at launch, as will AT & T, most likely on digital.
Ong was vice president and GM of Fox-owned KSAZ-TV Phoenix, where she supervised transition of the station from a CBS affiliate formerly managed by New World Communications. Before joining FOX Television Stations Inc., she was a senior executive with Rainbow Programming from 1994 to 1996, serving as general manager at SportsChannel regional sports networks.