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Rodriguez to Travel Away from Travel

Travel Channel executive vice president and general manager Rick Rodriguez will resign his positions at the end of July as his family moves cross-country.

In announcing the resignation, which becomes effective July 31, Discovery Networks U.S. said Rodriguez and his family are moving to Southern California, where he will pursue other TV-management opportunities.

Rodriguez will remain with the network as a consultant through November. Discovery officials said a search for a new GM would begin immediately.

A 10-year company veteran, Rodriguez -- who had been serving as Discovery Networks International executive VP of content -- began heading Travel in May 2003, succeeding Steve Cheskin, who resigned as GM earlier that month.

Rodriguez departs amid a ratings upswing for the service. In May, Travel upped its primetime average 33% to a 0.4, while its total-day mark doubled to a 0.2, according to Nielsen Media Research data.

Travel’s Nielsen’s fortunes have been lifted by its coverage of the World Poker Tour and ancillary programming.

“Rick has done a tremendous job in adding consistency to Travel Channel’s programming lineup, and the network has continued its ratings ascension during his tenure,” Discovery Networks president Billy Campbell said in a prepared statement.

“Rick has laid out a clear vision for the channel, one that will be carried on by whomever replaces him as general manager,” Campbell added.

“Travel has a variety of new, hosted series and specials in production and in development that we are confident will further solidify Travel Channel’s position as a network on the rise,” Campbell continued. “I’m sorry to see someone of Rick’s ability and talent leave, but as a friend, I recognize and respect that this was a decision he and his family made together.”