Animal Planet has upped Rick Holzman to its general manager position, the network announced Wednesday at the Television Critics Association summer tour.
Holzman, who most recently served as Executive Vice President of Programming and Scheduling, will oversee strategy and all day-to-day operations for the network, according to network officials. Holzman will report to Marjorie Kaplan, Group President of TLC and Animal Planet.
"Rick Holzman is one of the most brilliant minds in the media industry and a key driver of Animal Planet's significant growth as an entertainment destination over the last several years," said Kaplan in a statement. "His leadership, knowledge and incredible passion for this brand make him the perfect General Manager for Animal Planet."
The network also said it has commissioned its first original movie, The Whale, based on the best-selling novel In The Heart of The Sea. The two-hour feature film will star Martin Sheen, said Holzman.
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