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Hill, Monroe To Lead Nat Geo Channels

The National Geographic Channels management overhaul continued with the promotion of Courteney Monroe from chief marketing officer to CEO and the appointment of David Hill as chairman, and the departure of David Lyle as CEO.

The changes, made by joint venture partners the National Geographic Society and Fox Networks Group, came a day after it was announced that channels president Howard Owens was leaving. Under Lyle and Owens, National Geographic Channel, the largest in the channels group, had a record ratings year in 2013, boosted by original series such as Brain Games and Wicked Tuna and specials such as Killing Kennedy.

Hill, who currently serves as senior executive vice president of 21st Century Fox and is on the National Geographic Channels board of directors, will provide counsel to the executive and programming leadership team. He also will remain on the NGC Board and continue to play a leadership role in the production of American Idol. A member of the Fox extended family since 1993, Hill has overseen Fox broadcasting, sports and DirecTV when it was in the Rupert Murdoch camp, among other senior roles.

Lyle, a longtime Fox executive, has served as CEO of National Geographic Channels since 2011.

As CEO, Monroe, a former top marketing executive at HBO, will be responsible for all operations of the domestic National Geographic Channels, which include National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD and Nat Geo MUNDO.

“Courteney is a truly remarkable executive, with a proven track record of energizing programming brands — both here at National Geographic Channels and during her time at HBO,” Fox Networks Group chairman and CEO Peter Rice and National Geographic Society CEO Gary Knell said in a joint release. “She is also a proven leader, who has a clear vision of the television landscape, and we are very lucky to have her overseeing our domestic channels.”

“David Lyle led National Geographic Channels U.S. through a period of tremendous commercial and creative growth, including the highest-rated period in the channel’s history,” Rice and Knell also said. “We will be forever grateful to David for his efforts and we join the entire National Geographic family in wishing him the best in his future endeavors.”