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Rodgers exits Discovery - Broadcasting & Cable

Rodgers exits Discovery

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In the latest shuffle at Discovery Networks U.S., president Johnathan Rodgers
is stepping down.

A self-described network-builder, Rodgers said that after six years with the
company, Discovery no longer needs his guidance.

"I'd rather be with a start-up or a fixer-upper," he said Thursday on a call
with reporters announcing his resignation.

Rodgers exercised a buy-out clause in his contract, which ran out Dec. 31,
2001.

Rodgers, one of cable's top African-American execs, was previously president
of the CBS owned-and-operated station group.

He joined Discovery Communications Inc. in 1996, overseeing domestic business
responsibilities for Discovery Channel and The Learning Channel.

It was Discovery's fledging status that attracted Rodgers after a 20-year
career at CBS.

'When I got here, we had two channels and the value was $1 billion,' he said.
'Now we have 11 channels and the value is $20 billion.'

Having expressed interest in working on a minority TV network, Rodgers
confirmed he'd spoken with executives from thinly distributed African-American
network NUE-TV, which is backed by minority-owned radio group Radio One.

Discovery has lost a string of executives in recent months, including husband
and wife team Michael Quattrone, former head of Discovery Channel, and Kathy
Quattrone, who was GM of Discovery Health, and Charley Humbard, head of digital
networks.

Discovery President and COO Judith McHale will lead the search for Rodgers'
successor.

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