McHale to Take Over as Discovery CEO

Discovery Communications Inc. founder John Hendricks will relinquish his position as CEO to current president and chief operating officer Judith McHale.

Hendricks recommended at the DCI shareholders’ annual meeting Monday that the company separate the chairman and CEO positions effective June 17 -- the beginning of the company’s 20th-anniversary year, DCI executives said.

Hendricks will retain the chairman’s position.

"I strongly believe that I will be best able to focus my energies on further corporate expansion by relinquishing my daily chief executive officer duties," Hendricks said in a prepared statement.

"I think the beginning of Discovery Channel’s 20th-anniversary year June 17 is just the right time for me to begin enjoying the creative freedom that the position of chairman will offer," he added.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.