Discovery Communications has promoted Robert Scanlon to the
title of general manager of Velocity, its cable network for upscale men.
Scanlon, who has served as the network's senior VP since its
launch in October 2011,
will continue to oversee programming, development, production, marketing and
communications and report to Marjorie Kaplan, group president of Animal Planet,
Science Channel and Velocity.
"Bob's leadership, strategic thinking and industry expertise
have been instrumental in Velocity's rapid ascent over the past year and a
half," said Kaplan. "Few executives embody their brands better or more
completely than he does. Bob is the quintessential ‘Velocity Man.'"
Velocity's second quarter of 2013 was its highest rated
since launch in many key demos including adults/men 25-54, adults/men 18-49,
men 18-34 and total viewers. The quarter included premieres of What's In the Barn?, Fantomworks and Dallas Car Sharks, all of which are spinoffs
of other Velocity series and which Scanlon says he plans to renew for 2014.
"That's probably the biggest challenge we have and probably
our biggest focus in development is to leverage and expand on characters that
we think are unique on our most successful series and then see if there's a way
to spin them off in our new series," he said in an interview with B&C.
The network also has what Scanlon hopes will be two
brand-defining series upcoming: On Wednesday, Aug. 28 at 10 p.m., Velocity will
premiere the four-part miniseries Patrick
Dempsey: Racing Le Mans, with the first episode simulcast on Discovery
Channel. On tap for later this year is Americarna
hosted by NASCAR owner/crew chief Ray Everham, which the network will roll out
at the end of NASCAR season to try to grab some of that audience.