Discovery Renames Discovery Times Channel as Investigation Discovery

Discovery Communications is changing the name of its Discovery Times Channel cable service to Investigation Discovery, or "ID," starting Jan. 27.

The change comes after The New York Times ended its partnership with Discovery in April 2006.

The channel, in about 50 million homes, will now focus on original programming about crime and investigation, the network said.

Discovery Times was launched in 2003 as a 50-50 partnership between the Times and Discovery. Last year, the Times exercised an option in its contract to sell its stake back to Discovery. The network said it plans to develop more than 100 hours of new content in 2008.

ID joins a crowded field of cable networks mining the genre, including A&E Television Networks' Crime and Investigation Network and NBC's Sleuth video-on-demand channel.

"With Investigation Discovery, the company continues an organized, sequential repositioning of our emerging-network portfolio," said David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Communications. "The strategy is to build faster growing and more compelling consumer propositions that can also drive the businesses of our advertising and distribution partners."

The network, under president and general manager John Ford, will announce new programming, branding, Web content and a new logo in January.

Zaslav has said that a priority of his is energizing the company's smaller "emerging networks," including Discovery Times and Military Channel.

In September, Ford announced that he would return to the company where he spent several years to lead the two networks after having left National Geographic Channel in March to create documentaries.