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Michael Bishara Heads to Discovery

Michael Bishara, an industry vet who has played a key role in pay TV’s transition to streaming distribution and authenticated TV Everywhere services, is joining Discovery Communications as SVP and GM of OTT and digital syndication.

There, he’ll head up Discovery’s OTT initiatives as well as its digital businesses for VOD, -Download to Own, Home Video and Short-Form Video Syndication products, and help the programmer grow revenue and audience reach across its digital portfolio. He reports to Karen Leever, EVP & GM, Discovery Digital Media, and is based in Discovery’s New York office.

Discovery launched its TVE product late last year and recently extended access to the Roku platform.

Bishara most recently served as SVP, digital products and  GM, OTT and TV Everywhere for Synacor, a Buffalo, N.Y.-based company that specializes in authentication products and customized portals. He previously founded and was a managing member of Sentient Digital Consulting Group, a digital media consulting firm focused on TVE for the HBO/Disney brands in Canada and supporting the development and launch of HBO GO Canada. He is also late of HBO, where he served in several roles, including SVP, HBO GO Digital Group

“Michael is an accomplished executive whose ‘first in the industry’ experience with early iterations and evolutions of OTT products has provided him with an intimate knowledge of how to develop, launch and optimize a product,” Leever said, in a statement. “We’re thrilled to have him on the team, and are looking forward to engaging even more audiences with our award-winning content in the future.”

“Discovery Communications is uniquely positioned in digital with its strong portfolio of brands – and consumers’ deep engagement with them,” added Bishara. “I look forward to working with such an incredible team and am excited by the tremendous opportunity to extend these brands and deliver new experiences while simultaneously driving incremental revenue.”

Bishara has a B.A. in Sociology and an MBA in Marketing Management from State University of New York at Buffalo. 

Update: Synacor said Anand Subramanian is now leading product at the company. He joined Synacor following Synacor's acquisition of NimbleTV in January 2015.