Discovery Realigns U.S. Network Portfolio


SILVER SPRING: As part of a series of changes at Discovery Communications' U.S. networks, Rich Ross has been elevated to group president of Discovery Channel, Science Channel and Animal Planet.

Ross has been serving as president of Discovery Channel. He now extends his remit to also include Animal Planet and Science Channel. Rick Holzman, the general manager of Animal Planet, will now report to Ross. Holzman previously reported to Marjorie Kaplan, who last week was appointed to the new role of president of content for Discovery Networks International. Science Channel will continue to be led by current general manager Rita Mullin, reporting to Ross.

Another part of the Discovery shakeup sees Discovery Life Channel being integrated into the TLC team, reporting to Nancy Daniels, the executive VP and general manager. TLC’s executive VP of development and production, Howard Lee, will also assume responsibility as general manager of Discovery Life Channel, continuing to report to Daniels.

Henry Schleiff will continue to lead Investigation Discovery, American Heroes Channel (AHC) and Destination America. Operations for the day-to-day management of each of these networks under Schleiff’s leadership will be overseen by Kevin Bennett, who continues in his role as general manager of ID and executive VP of programming for the portfolio; Jane Latman, currently general manager of Discovery Life Channel, who will become general manager of AHC in addition to her duties as senior VP of development for ID; and Marc Etkind, who continues as general manager of Destination America.

Bob Scanlon has been named general manager of Velocity and automotive content.

Discovery is also planning to coordinate the leadership of its global family brands and kids content strategy under Carolina Lightcap, head of content for Discovery Latin America and U.S. Hispanic Group. Discovery Family Channel's general manager, Tom Cosgrove, will now report to Lightcap.

“This strategic realignment positions Discovery well to drive our content engine across platforms here in the U.S. and worldwide, and creates the strongest pairings of creative talent to develop, program and lead these new brand groups now and into the future,” said David Zaslav, the president and CEO of Discovery Communications. “I believe some of Discovery’s best stories are yet to be told and I look forward to the growth and further development for each of our U.S. brands for years to come under this team’s strong creative leadership.”