Discovery Gets Down to New Business

Discovery Networks U.S. has formed a new-business-development group, which will target opportunities across advertiser categories such as financial services, retail and technology, officials said Friday.

The programming company has put Ken Ripley, vice president and national sales manager, in charge of overseeing the newly created development unit, expanding his current duties of managing ad sales for Discovery’s emerging networks.

Ripley has hired Peter Cosco and Jocelyn Egan for the new-business unit.

Cosco is a former national director of sales and new-business development for Viacom Inc., where he was instrumental in bringing in new business from KFC Corp., Target Brands Inc. and Levi Strauss & Co.

Egan is joining Discovery after a 20-year career with media agency OMD, where she reached the position of director of strategy and worked on accounts such as Frito-Lay Inc., Home Box Office, Hershey Foods Corp. and Visa International Inc.

Chris Crean is also joining the new-business-development unit from Discovery’s online-ad-sales division, where he held the post of sales manager. Crean rejoined Discovery in 2002 after holding several sales positions at Lifetime Television and, now Previously, he was senior sales planner for Discovery from 1993-96.

“As our programming has evolved and our viewer audiences have expanded, so has our ability to attract and retain new types of advertisers,” Ripley said in a prepared statement. “The creation of this team, with some of the top talent in the business, is going to take our new-business efforts to another level.”