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BBC’s Coles heads to Discovery

July 14, 2014

Discovery Networks has announced the appointment of Dominic Coles, Director of Operations, BBC to the role of Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer, Discovery Networks Western Europe.  He will work for Dee Forbes, President and Managing Director of Western Europe and Doug Baker, COO/CFO Discovery Networks International.

In his new role, Coles will be responsible for the operational and financial leadership of Discovery’s Western Europe business consisting of 24 brands in 22 countries/territories including the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Netherlands, broadcast in nine languages. The Western Europe business operates a unique hybrid pay-TV and free to air model in Europe and is a key growth region in Discovery Networks International.

Over the last two years, Coles led the BBC’s business operations. His responsibilities included the management of the BBC’s £1 billion plus business, with more than 2,000 staff and associated property assets. His role encompassed a wide range of functions including technology, distribution and archive, strategic procurement and chairmanship of BBC Studios and Post Production, as well as being responsible for the BBC’s business continuity.

Previously he was COO of BBC Journalism, which included BBC News, BBC World Service and the BBC’s Nations and Regions. He took on these responsibilities in 2007 after seven years as COO and CFO of BBC Sport. As COO of the BBC’S 2012 Olympics, Coles led all business operations for the BBC’s 2012 Olympic operations including business continuity, studios, on screen talent and digital activities. He was the BBC’s key point of contact with the IOC and LOCOG during the LONDON 2012 Olympics and negotiated the exclusive media rights to the 2012 Olympics for the BBC and its EBU partners across Europe.  Over a period of ten years, Coles was responsible for the BBC’s major sports rights acquisitions.

He started his career with Deloitte, the accountancy and consultancy firm where he held a number of roles.

In his new role at Discovery, he replaces Yitz Shmulewitz, who becomes EVP & COO Eurosport. following the completion of Discovery’s 51 per cent stake in the European sports broadcaster.

Forbes described Coles as “a terrific business leader” with strong expertise in the broadcast sector. “The sports experience he obtained managing the BBC’s London 2012’s Olympic activities will also be invaluable to us as we align Eurosport’s assets with our own. The Western Europe business is on a big growth trajectory and we have major ambitions over the coming months and years. Dominic has a strong background in managing complex networks and business operations and I really look forward to welcoming him to Discovery and working closely with him to fulfil our plans.”

Coles said the opportunity to join Discovery at such an exciting time in its history was simply too good to ignore. “I’m looking forward to working with Dee Forbes and the Discovery Western Europe team to help continue their remarkable growth of recent years.”

Anne Bulford, the BBC’s Managing Director Finance and Operations, thanked Coles for his “huge” contribution to the BBC. “He has negotiated sports deals which have secured amazing events for the BBC and our audiences, and helped us make vital and significant cost savings.”

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