Advanced Television

Discovery restructures UK content creation

October 11, 2016

JB Perrette, President and CEO of Discovery Networks International, announced today a restructuring of its London-based creative teams in order to bolster the UK market as a significant source of content creation for the company’s global networks.  The International Content Group, currently led by Marjorie Kaplan, will become part of the UK/Ireland business, under the leadership of Susanna Dinnage.

Kaplan, President of International Content, moved to London a year ago to partner with Perrette in reviewing the strategy for international content investment and strengthen relationships with the creative community and the global content pipeline.  In her role, she helped to determine that the international content group should work directly with the UK business, as both the UK and the US creative communities have been at the forefront of producing some of the best “local to global” content successes.  Kaplan will leave her role at the end of the year, following a successful transition period working with Dinnage and the internationally based creative teams.

Dinnage has been promoted to President and MD, Discovery Networks UK/Ireland, with her responsibilities expanding to include content creation for the international business.  In her new role, she will not only develop new genres and formats for UK audiences with an eye toward global appeal, but also she will work with international teams to source the best ideas and stories that can travel to other markets and worldwide.

Dinnage has spent more than 20 years working in the television industry, beginning her career at MTV and then part of the launch team behind Channel 5.

JB Perrette, President, Discovery Networks International, said: “Susanna is a great creative and commercial leader. She has successfully grown the UK business over the last seven years and has been instrumental in building our brands and channels in our biggest market outside the US.  Redeploying resources to the UK team, as well as bolstering the innovative work done by Discovery’s local creative teams worldwide, will ensure a healthy pipeline of content for the company’s loved brands around the world.”

“Marjorie is an incredible business leader, widely admired both internally and externally, having  transformed multiple businesses at the company and with long-running hit series on virtually all our channels, to her credit.  I know she is excited to seek out an entirely new challenge, but her legacy will remain and she will be missed,” said Perrette.

Dinnage said: “Aligning our London based content creation business with the UK business really underscores our creative and financial commitment to the UK production community.  Discovery is a great company with fantastic brands and channels and a lot of amazing creative talent.  I am really looking forward to harnessing our own talent and ideas with the innovative production sector in the UK to develop new ideas, talent, genres, formats and funding models that resonate both with UK audiences and across the globe.

Kaplan said: “I believe strongly in the power of global content and universal human stories.  Discovery’s international business must prioritise local relevance to best serve international audiences and drive growth, and further leverage its incredibly creative talent around the world. As a result, the current central structure doesn’t make sense for the company or for me.  Although this is a bittersweet decision for me, I expect it to also be the start of new adventures as exciting as those I have undertaken while at Discovery.”

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