Discovery Channel’s founder, John Hendricks, and now chairman of Discovery Communications, is to retire on May 16th. The news emerged in a company SEC filing made by the company. No successor has been named as yet. Hendricks has steered the business for 32 years.
Hendricks formed the business in 1982, largely on the back of the archive factual film libraries of well-known broadcasters such as the BBC. The broadcaster is now the world’s leading non-fiction media company and present on TV sets in more than 220 countries.
Hendricks’ original mission statement called for the broadcaster: “To satisfy curiosity and make a difference in people’s lives by providing the highest quality content, services and products that entertain, engage and enlighten.”
Discovery CEO David Zaslav, who succeed Hendricks into the CEO position in 2004, hailed his leadership and the impressive number of channels and services now in place, saying: “He is a true visionary, a man of enormous integrity and one of the world’s great entrepreneurs. On behalf of the 5,600 employees of Discovery Communications, I want to thank John for all that he has done, and all that he has stood for, as Founder and Chairman of Discovery for more than 30 years, and believing the world needed a different kind of media company – a purpose-driven media company.”