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DCI Forms Discovery Health Media Enterprises

Discovery Communications is looking to get healthy.

The company announced Wednesday that it established a new integrated, multiplatform business unit, Discovery Health Media Enterprises, incorporating linear TV channels Discovery Health Channel and FitTV; such online assets as Discovery Health Channel’s site (; and its Continuing Medical Education business.

Come October, the new unit plans to bow the programmer’s first stand-alone video-on-demand service, Discovery Health On-Call, which will offer cable viewers a one-stop shop of short-form videos touching on topics ranging from diet and exercise to diseases and conditions.

The VOD platform will include contributions from Discovery Health Channel and FitTV, as well as content secured through relationships with the March of Dimes and American Diabetes Association.

DCI officials said they have initiated an executive search to recruit a senior-level executive from the health-care sector to oversee the business unit.

Eileen O’Neill, executive vice president and general manager of Discovery Health Channel and FitTV, will continue in her role and work closely with the Discovery Networks U.S. division, which currently supports both networks in the production, marketing, sales and research functions.

“Built upon a highly trusted brand, Discovery Health Media Enterprises will incorporate a new line of products and services to be the leader in providing consumers with the most relevant and credible health and medical information,” DCI CEO Judith McHale said in a prepared statement.

“We believe there is a large business opportunity for the company in high-quality health media,” she added. “Our goal is to be the most trusted media source that enables consumers to better manage their families’ health and wellness needs.”