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Nat Geo Programming Head Pastore Stepping Down

Tim Pastore, president of original programming and production, will be leaving National Geographic Channel, the network announced Wednesday.

Pastore had been in the post for four years. He said he will be pursuing new opportunities.

Pastore will be replaced on an interim basis by Geoff Daniels, who will oversee unscripted content for both National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo Wild until a permanent executive is selected. He is executive VP and general manager of Wild. Executive VP Carolyn Bernstein will oversee scripted content.

National Geographic Channel is part of a joint venture of 21st Century Fox and National Geographic. It is one of the assets that 21st Century Fox has agreed to sell to the Walt Disney Co., although Comcast has said it is preparing a bigger bid for those assets.

“Tim was an instrumental part of our transformation, and I will be forever grateful to Tim and his team for dedicating themselves to our new programming vision,” said National Geographic Channel CEO Courteney Monroe in a memo.

"I know change is hard, especially at a time when we face uncertainty as a company, but rest assured that Geoff and I both have a clear vision for what we need to do and we are excited, as we enter a new fiscal year, to continue along our transformational path," Monroe said.

Here is a memo from Pastore:

Dear Nat Geo Team,

I wanted to write to you personally to let you know that after four incredible years as president of programming for National Geographic Channels, I have decided that it’s time to pursue new opportunities. My departure brings to a close an incredibly proud chapter in my career — one that began with a bush flight into the Arctic creating a series called Life Below Zero (soon to hit 100 episodes!) and forging my relationship with this magnificent brand and company. I will always cherish working alongside all of you amazingly talented and passionate individuals. I am grateful for having had the opportunity as we moved this brand into the future.

Together we forged new creative partnerships with world-class talent; we broke new genres as we went to Mars and explored one strange rock; we envisioned how to entertain with purpose by tackling climate change, ISIS, race and gender relations; and we launched a documentary film banner landing two films on the Oscar shortlist within our first year. We did this and so much more, and always with grace and style.

Thank you to everyone who showed up each and every day with a daring commitment to pursue excellence. Every foot you put forward was your best, and that I will always remember.

My last day will be this Friday, June 1, and I look forward to spending the rest of this week thanking each of you personally for your support and friendship. I am also confident our paths will cross again very soon.

All my best,

Tim