Discovery issued an email this morning letting the media know it has ended its programming partnership with BBC – a relationship that’s produced some of Discovery’s most acclaimed Oprah Winfrey-narrated natural history telecasts. “Discovery and the BBC … Read More »
Nancy Daniels, general manager of Discovery Communications’ Discovery Fit & Health, is returning to TLC as its new GM. Daniels, who also was serving as Discovery Channel’s EVP Production & Development, is replacing Amy Winter who stepped down from the post last month but will remain with the net as EVP Brand Marketing. Winter, who’d told staff that her plans to relocate her family from Atlanta didn’t work out as planned, came to the post from a marketing position — Daniels is a programmer. As TLC’s SVP Production and Development, she oversaw the launch of Cake Boss, The Little Couple, Sister Wives and Sarah Palin’s Alaska. More recently, at Discovery Channel, she oversaw live events — Skywire Live, for example. She also oversaw such popular Discovery series as including Bering Sea Gold, Naked And Afraid, Deadliest Catch, Mythbusters as well as the All the President’s Men Revisited special. At Discovery Fit & Health, Daniels managed day-to-day operations. In her new gig, she will report to Eileen O’Neill, Group President, Discovery and TLC Networks. Read More »
Discovery Communications has promoted Robert Scanlon to general manager of Velocity network. Since October of 2011, Scanlon has been SVP at the network, which made news recently when Patrick Dempsey, star of its four-part miniseries Patrick Dempsey: Racing Le Mans, told the press at TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2013 that acting — the thing he does on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy — is that which he does in order to finance his real love, which is race car driving. From today’s announcement: Read More »
This was a complicated quarter: In April Discovery closed its $1.7B acquisition of SBS Nordic, the Scandinavian TV and radio company. Even so, investors had high expectations for the company that the Q2 numbers out this morning missed. Net … Read More »
The season three premiere of MTV’s comedy Awkward last night garnered a 2.3 P12-34 rating for each of the two back-to-back episodes. That was up 5% from the show’s season two premiere and up 35% from … Read More »
There will not be a third season of Discovery‘s docu reality series American Guns. The show, about a family of gun makers, has been drawing attention following Friday’s elementary school shooting in a Connecticut in … Read More »
Atchity Entertainment and Ramos and Sparks Group announced today they plan to turn former Secret Service agent Gerald Blaine’s bestselling book The Kennedy Detail into a feature film. The plan is for … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: The revolving door at OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network continues. The latest high-level executive to depart the struggling cable network is SVP Business and Legal Affairs Alan Saxe, a well-respected executive who ran OWN’s business affairs department. In light of his departure (he reportedly left to pursue other opportunities), Tina Perry, VP Business and Legal Affairs, will lead the department as interim head. Saxe is the latest in a slew of executive departures at OWN, most recently EVP Production and Development Lisa Erspamer.
Meanwhile, OWN has been in cost-cutting mode after an yearlong struggle to break out in the ratings despite a marquee brand name and massive cash infusion from co-parent Discovery Communications. I hear the network’s executives have been told that the business in its current form is unsustainable and cuts have to be made, especially in the main Los Angeles office. Leading the charge in that area is new Discovery CFO Andy Warren, who has been examining OWN’s books. In one cost-cutting measure, OWN was recently asked to eliminate temp positions. The network has had a lot of essential positions, including assistants, filled by non-full-time employees, something that will now end. Read More »
3net, the joint venture 24/7 3D network from Sony, Discovery and IMAX, announced the debut of the world’s first dedicated kids 3D programming block with two all-new animated 3D series – Bolts & Blip and Dream Defenders — which will be introduced in a prime-time special Sept. 25. The “3net Three Dee Kids” Saturday and Sunday morning lineup will premiere in its regular 10 AM weekend time on Oct. 1 and will also include Sony Pictures 3D family films as well as the live-action original series Feeding Time, the 3net exclusive Puppy Bowl and more. Here are descriptions of the new series: Read More »
UPDATE, 6:50 AM: Not much from the conference call with analysts about the most interesting story at Discovery: the recent changes at its struggling joint venture with Oprah Winfrey, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. Oprah recently named herself CEO and Chief Creative Officer. Zaslav says that “she is in place as CEO already,” and “we now have her creative team in place.” That means Discovery COO Peter Ligouri — named OWN’s interim CEO in May when the partners dumped Christina Norman — can “spend more time with us.” Read More »
CBS and Discovery’s new Velocity Network announced today they have pacted to broadcast 20 hours of the Epic Poker League, a new pro league launching next month in Las Vegas. CBS will air seven hours of original programming, while Velocity will air 13 hours as well as re-air CBS’ episodes. … Read More »
Unscripted executive Sean Boyle has left VH1, where he has served as an executive producer on such series as Saddle Ranch, The X Life, Dad Camp, The Price of Beauty and, most recently, Mob Wives. Word is that he is headed to Discovery Channel.
3net, the joint-venture 3D network from Sony, Discovery and IMAX, announced today that they have begun principal photography on The Civil War 3D (working title), set to debut on the network in the fall. The DirecTV-based network says the four-hour … Read More »
Discovery announced today that it is renaming its HD Theater cable network Velocity, which they plan to position as “an upscale male lifestyle network” with automotive, sports and leisure, adventure and travel programming. Current HD Theater series like Inside West … Read More »