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Discovery Puts Execs in New Distribution Roles

Discovery Eric Phillips Michele Barney
Discovery named Eric Phillips and Michele Barney to new distribution posts (Image credit: Discovery)

Discovery has named Eric Phillips and Michele Barney to senior distribution posts.

The moves come as Discovery is rolling out its direct-to-consumer product, Discover Plus and makes new deals with existing distribution partners.

Also Read: Discovery Plus Launches Monday with Full Major Platform Support

Phillips, who had been president of affiliate distribution at Discovery, was named president of global distribution strategy.

Barney, previously senior VP of content and programming at AT&T, succeeds Phillips.

Phillips will lead the strategy, approach and relationship management for global digital platforms, with a focus on direct-to-consumer partnerships for Discovery Plus, which launched with distribution deals on major platforms including Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Android, IOS, Xbox and Samsung. He will report to Bruce Campbell, chief development, distribution and legal officer for Discovery and work closely with JB Perrette, president and CEO of Discovery International.

Also Read: BET Founder Robert Johnson to Join Board of Discovery

“Eric is an outstanding executive who has contributed enormously to Discovery’s growth into one of the most formidable TV brand portfolios among distributors,” said Campbell. “In his new role, Eric’s leadership will be key as our company accelerates its pivot to DTC while seizing opportunities to further scale our reach globally.” 

Phillips has been with Discovery since 2002. 

Barney will be responsible for the strategic oversight and distribution of Discovery’s network portfolio and content in the U.S. and Canada, managing Discovery’s carriage with cable, satellite, telco and digital distributors. She also reports to Campbell. 

“We’re thrilled to welcome Michele to Discovery,” said Campbell. “As a longtime partner to this company, I have admired Michele’s business acumen and ability to get a deal to the finish line. She is principled, transparent and fair. We are thrilled that she will lead our distribution team, especially at this time of industry transformation, to ensure that our powerful brand portfolio reaches the widest audience possible across all platforms.”

Barney has been at AT&T since 2015. She was with DirecTV since 2001 and at the Latham & Watkins law firm before that.

“I have long admired Discovery, its beloved brands and the unparalleled network portfolio the company has built and nourished,” said Barney. “I look forward to working closely with Bruce and Discovery’s other talented leaders and I’m honored to lead a distribution team that is one of the best in the business. Discovery’s brands and content have never been more core to the traditional bundle or created more value for partners, and I am thrilled to do my part to drive the next leg of this amazing growth story.”

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.