Discovery names senior leadership after Scripps deal

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Discovery Communications has announced the senior leadership appointments for the combined company, which will be effective upon close of the transaction with Scripps Networks Interactive.

“Today’s announcement is another major milestone in combining these two fantastic companies into a new kind of media company with the most trusted portfolio of real life entertainment brands in the world,” said David Zaslav, President and CEO, Discovery. “Upon closing, each division will have a best-in-class leader focused on quickly integrating the combined teams to create new ways for advertisers and distributors to reach highly targeted audiences at scale; capturing operating efficiencies across both companies; and driving innovation to continue telling great stories and nourishing our passionate, loyal superfans around the world across every consumer screen, service and platform.”

Senior leadership team appointments announced today and reporting to Zaslav include:

Gunnar Wiedenfels, currently serving as Discovery’s Chief Financial Officer, will become CFO of the combined company.

Jean-Briac Perrette, currently serving as President and CEO of Discovery Networks International, will continue in that role driving the combined company’s global expansion.

Bruce Campbell, who is currently Chief Development, Distribution and Legal Officer of Discovery, will continue in that role for the combined company. Leading the combined company’s linear, non-linear and mobile distribution efforts in the U.S. & Canada will be Eric Phillips, President, Affiliate Distribution, reporting to Campbell. Discovery’s General Counsel, Savalle Sims, will retain that role for the combined company, also reporting to Campbell.

Adria Alpert Romm, currently serving as Chief Human Resources and Global Diversity Officer for Discovery, will continue in that role for the combined company.

Jon Steinlauf, currently President of National Ad Sales and Marketing for Scripps Networks, will become Chief U.S. Advertising Sales Officer for the combined company. Steinlauf will lead the combined Ad Sales, Consumer Products and Licensing and revenue-generating operations and drive the combined company’s valuable IP with advertisers and partners across the domestic market. Ben Price, currently President of U.S. Ad Sales for Discovery, and Leigh Anne Brodsky, currently EVP of Discovery Global Enterprises, will report to Steinlauf.

David Leavy, currently serving as Discovery’s Chief Corporate Operations and Communications Officer, will continue in that role for the combined company with continued oversight of the company’s global technology operations. Discovery’s John Honeycutt will be the combined company’s Chief Technology Officer with direct management over global technology operations and strategy, continuing to report to Leavy.

Kathleen Finch, currently Chief Programming, Content & Brand Officer for all six Scripps Networks brands, will become Chief Lifestyle Brands Officer for the combined company with management oversight of HGTV, Food Network, TLC, ID, Travel Channel, DIY Network, Cooking Channel, Discovery Life, American Heroes Channel, Destination America, Great American Country and Lifestyle Digital Studios in the U.S. Henry Schleiff will continue as Group President for ID, Destination America and American Heroes Channel. Howard Lee, currently Executive Vice President, Development & Production for TLC and General Manager of Discovery Life, will be the new President and General Manager for TLC and Discovery Life, effective immediately. Both Schleiff and Lee will report to Finch upon closing of the transaction.

Nancy Daniels, currently President of TLC, will assume the new role of Chief Brand Officer, Discovery & Factual, effective immediately. Daniels will lead all aspects of Discovery Channel and the Science Channel brands. Rich Ross, currently Group President of Discovery Channel and Science Channel, will be leaving the company.

Susanna Dinnage, currently serving as Global President of the Animal Planet network in the U.S. and Animal Planet brand worldwide, will continue in that role.

Erik Logan, currently serving as President of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, will continue in that role and report to the OWN Venture Board of Directors.

Karen Leever, currently serving as EVP and GM, Digital Media U.S., and Mike Lang, currently serving as President, Discovery Networks International Digital & CEO TEN/MotorTrend, will continue in those roles for the new company reporting to Zaslav.

Current Scripps Networks executives not assuming roles in the company going forward will participate in the integration process following close to ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities.


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