EXCLUSIVE: Denise Contis has been promoted to EVP Production and Development at Discovery Channel — West Coast. She’s replacing Nancy Daniels, who earlier this week was named GM of TLC network, replacing Amy Winter, who stepped down from the post last month for personal reasons but remains with the network as EVP Brand Marketing. Contis most recently served as SVP Production and Development at Discovery, overseeing all execution for the channel’s programming. She oversaw its highly rated white-knuckle special Skywire Live With Nik Wallenda, which was the No. 1 program on all of TV in overall audience and key demos the weekend of June 22. Contis also spearheaded Discovery’s much discussed clothing-challenged survivalist series Naked And Afraid. During her tenure, she helped launch such Discovery staples as Fast ‘N Loud, Alaska: The Last Frontier, and Yukon Men and kept tabs on Deadliest Catch. Contis joined Discovery Communications in 2008 as West Coast VP Production and Development for TLC. In that capacity, she exec produced Sarah Palin’s Alaska and oversaw the refresh of Say Yes To The Dress franchise as well as LA Ink and Police Women. Before joining Discovery Communications, Contis served as SVP Programming at A. Smith and Company, whose clients included Fox, ABC, CBS and FX.
“Denise is a perfect fit for this position,” Eileen O’Neill, Group President, Discovery & TLC, said in this morning’s announcement. “Having worked on both Discovery and TLC, she’s a television executive who gets what both men and women of all ages want to see. Her track record of bringing quality programming to the Discovery family speaks for itself. I’ve worked with Denise for over six years now and I’m thrilled to grow this relationship and keep it going strong.”