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Discovery Names New LatAm/Hispanic Leadership

Discovery Networks Latin America and U.S. Hispanic has promoted from within to replace former vice president of content Bilai Joa Silar.

Angela Recio Sondon, presently VP of program sourcing and acquisitions for Discovery’s Latin America and U.S. Hispanic networks, will now be responsible for programming strategy and implementation; off-air and on-air marketing; communications; and digital efforts for Discovery en Español and Discovery Familia. In addition, she will communicate brand strategies and act as the division’s liaison to Discovery Communications’s advertising and affiliate-sales units.

Silar left Discovery Networks Latin America in April to become senior vice president of programming and production at NBC Universo (formerly mun2), NBCUniversal’s newly rebranded Spanish-language entertainment and sports cable network. She spent two decades at Discovery Networks, with Discovery en Español becoming one of the most successful U.S. Hispanic cable networks under her watch.

Recio Sondon has been with Discovery since 2005 and boasts a resume heavy on reality programming. As vice president and channel director for the factual, lifestyle, kids and emerging channels, she played an integral role in moving the network away from documentary-style educational fare to Spanish-language adaptions of such Discovery Channel shows as Naked and Afraid.

Prior to joining Discovery, Recio Sondon spent five years as director of programming, production and acquisitions for Disney and Jetix Latin America (now Disney XD). She began her career in the U.S. Hispanic market, working for Univision and Telemundo in various capacities.

“Angela is an outstanding television executive with a tremendous depth of experience in managing and developing successful channels,” Carolina Lightcap, head of content at Discovery Latin America/U.S. Hispanic and GM of Discovery Communications’ Cono Sur properties, said. “Her leadership skills, creativity and strong relationships in the industry will further our success as we continue to fortify our presence in the U.S. Hispanic market and invest in new content.”

Meanwhile, Allan Navarrete—presently Discovery Networks Latin America executive vice president and general manager of Mexico, Andean Region and Central America—has added responsibilities as GM of Discovery en Español and Discovery Familia. Navarrete will remain based in Mexico City and report to Enrique R. Martínez, president and managing director of Discovery Networks Latin America/U.S. Hispanic and Canada.

“Allan is a strong, strategic and collaborative leader and has played a critical role in our success in the Mexican region in addition to managing the Colombian and Central American markets and leading their growth,” Martinez said. “He is held in the highest regard by both his colleagues and the industry and I am confident that Allan will continue to make great contributions to our company.”

Navarrete started his career at Discovery in 1995, holding several senior positions within the distribution side of the business across Latin America, Spain and Portugal. In 2005, he moved to Discovery Communications global headquarters in Silver Spring, Md., to be vice president of channel distribution for the U.S. Hispanic market, where he contributed to the implementation of sales, distribution and marketing strategies for the company’s portfolio of Spanish-language channels in the U.S.

Amid all the changes, Ivan Bargueiras will continue as senior vice president of advertising sales for Discovery Networks Latin America and U.S. Hispanic.