Howard Owens To Depart As President Of National Geographic Channel

By | Monday April 14, 2014 @ 6:51am PDT

howardowensHoward Owens will step down as President of National Geographic Channels U.S. in June after two and a half years on the job. “Our President and my friend Howard Owens is moving on – flying out the window of National Geographic and into the free world of independent production,” National Geographic Channels U.S. CEO David Lyle said this morning in a memo to staff informing them of the move (Full memo after the jump). Owens  joined the channel in late 2011, replacing Steve Schiffman. He launched such series as Wicked Tuna, Brain Games, Ultimate Survival Alaska, Life Below Zero, The Legend Of Mick Dodge and Inside Combat Rescue. He also introduced scripted programming to the channel with the highly rated Killing franchise: Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy and the upcoming Killing Jesus, as well as event programming with SEAL Team Six and The ’80s: The Decade That Made Us to NGC. Owens also served as president at Nat Geo WILD, shepherding such series as The Incredible Dr. Pol and Cesar 911. “We have truly benefited from Howard’s zeal for bringing audiences innovative programming that underscores the uniqueness and depth of the National Geographic Channels brand,” said Peter Rice, Chairman and CEO of Fox Networks Group.  “From a creative and programming perspective, Howard’s work consistently broke new ground, and National Geographic Channels are uniquely positioned for the future as a result of his efforts.”

Prior to joining National Geographic Channels, Owens was a longtime executive at Reveille. “As I get ready for my next adventure I can’t help but reflect on what has been an incredible experience for me, both personally and professionally,” he said. “National Geographic Channels have some of the brightest minds in the television business, and I’m proud of the work we have accomplished together — specifically in defining the National Geographic Channels as a destination for innovative, original and brand-defining creativity.” Here is Lyle’s memo to staff:
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NatGeo Channel To Telecast World Free-Diving Record Attempt

By | Monday April 7, 2014 @ 10:12am PDT

Days after Discovery Communications announced Nik Wallenda would take next take his high-wire act to Chicago to walk between two natgeochanneltall buildings, rival NatGeo said the holder of 15 free-diving world records will attempt to swim to a depth of 350 feet — deeper than the height of the State of Liberty — setting a new world record. On a single breath and with only his hands and feet to propel him, William Trubridge, 33, will attempt his dive into the abyss at Dean’s Blue Hole in the Bahamas.

Discovery has found ratings success with white-knuckle stunts. Wallenda’s walk across the Grand Canyon area of Arizona last year attracted more than 10 million live viewers. At its upfront pageant last week, Discovery did not set a date for Wallenda’s Chicago encore, except to say it probably will take place in November. The network also recently  announced that it will telecast California mountain climber Joby Ogwyn’s attempt to jump off the top of Mount Everest, the world’s tallest peak, in a specially constructed wing suit. Read More »

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