Discovery Communications Sets Major Reorg

Discovery Communications has shaken up its executive structure.

Discovery Channel group president Eileen O’Neill (pictured) will give up oversight of the company’s second-highest rated network, TLC, and has been placed in charge of Velocity and Science Channel. She will continue to oversee Discovery Channel, the company’s highest rated network. TLC is now under the purview of group president Marjorie Kaplan, who will continue to oversee Animal Planet.

Group president Henry Schleiff adds oversight of Discovery Fit & Health, in addition to his current role overseeing Investigation Discovery, Destination America and the upcoming American Heroes Channel. Discovery Fit & Health was also formerly one of O’Neill’s channels.

The company did not announce any changes at the general manager level for the networks.

“Eileen, Marjorie and Henry are among the finest creative leaders in the media business today, with proven track records of building brands, creating compelling programming slates and leading strong creative teams,” Discovery Communications president and CEO David Zaslav said. “I am confident, under their continued leadership, Discovery’s U.S. network portfolio will continue to grow marketshare, produce world-class content and fuel our international growth for years to come.”

The reorganization comes one month after Zaslav signed a long-term contract with the company, extending his tenure through the end of 2019. Zaslav received $49.9 million in total compensation in 2012. 

For the week ending Feb. 23, Discovery was the 13th ranked cable network in average total primetime viewers at 1.13 million. TLC was ranked 16th at 1.06 million. Investigation Discovery ranked 20th at 838,000.

From Feb. 25, 2013 through Feb. 23, 2014, the networks averaged the following in average total primetime viewers, live-plus-same day: Discovery, 1.23 million; TLC, 985,000; Animal Planet, 708,000; Investigation Discovery, 617,000; Science, 289,000; Military Channel (which becomes American Heroes on March 3), 197,000; Destination America, 197,000; Discovery Fitness & Health, 100,000; Velocity, 71,000.