BBC programming veteran Patrick Younge has been named executive vice president and general manager for Travel Channel. He's the second U.K. import plucked to head a Discovery network in the past week.
Younge has served since 2001 as head of programs and planning for BBC Sport, responsible for programming and serving as a liaison with BBC television sports staff and talent. By early April, he will relocate to Discovery’s world headquarters in Silver Spring, Md., to serve as Travel Channel’s chief editorial executive, responsible for programming, production, development and operations in addition to coordinating with ad sales, marketing and affiliate sales.
Younge, who said travel has always played a large role in his life given that his parents and much of his family hail from the Caribbean, declined to get into specifics about future programming initiatives for Travel, but said he looks forward to the move to American and is “delighted” with the new role.
“I took this job because it’s a challenge,” he said. “It’s a great channel and it’s in good shape, but Discovery’s got big ambitions for it and I’m keen to be part of it.”
Discovery hired an independent search firm to find Travel a new GM after the position was left vacant July 31 by the network’s previous GM, Rick Rodriguez, who moved with his family to Los Angeles. Rodriguez brought the network steady ratings growth in his 13-month tenure, and he stayed on at the channel as a consultant through November.
Prior to his role at BBC Sport, Younge spent two years as commissioning editor for multicultural programs at Channel 4 and worked in a variety of other production positions with the BBC. He holds a bachelor's degree from University College, Cardiff in Britain and a graduate degree from London Business School.
Friday, Discovery Networks tapped another Brit import, current GM of Discovery Networks UK David Abraham, to serve as EVP/GM of TLC.
Travel Channel is currently available in approximately 78 million homes.