Henry Schleiff, who got credit for the fast growth of Discovery’s Investigation Discovery network, will be leaving the company at the end of the year.
Discovery said that Jason Sarlanis has been promoted to president, crime & investigative content, linear and streaming, effective Sept. 1. Sarlanis had been senior VP, development at TLC. He will report to Kathleen Finch, Discovery’s chief lifestyle brands officer.
Kevin Bennett, another Discovery veteran who had been group executive VP, programming and general manager for ID, is also leaving the company in September.
Howard Lee, president of TLC streaming and network originals, will add Travel Channel to his responsibilities. The network had been in the same group as ID, overseen by Schleiff.
The changes come as Discovery prepares to merge with WarnerMedia, which is being spun off by AT&T.
Discovery said Schleiff has a first look production deal with the Discovery networks.
Before joining Discovery, Schleiff ran Crown Media Holding. Previously he was CEO of CourtTV. He also held management posts at Studios USA, Viacom International and HBO.
At TLC Sarlanis led the expansion of the 90 Day Fiancé universe with shows like Before the 90 Days, The Other Way, Darcey & Stacey and The Family Chantel. He also worked on sMothered, UnExpected, I Love a Mama’s Boy, My Feet Are Killing Me and such family docusoaps as Welcome to Plathville, 1000-lb Sisters, and Doubling Down with the Derricos.
Before Discovery, Sarlanis was VP, alternative series and specials at ABC. Before that he worked on Keeping Up with the Karashians at E! Entertainment.
“Jason is a brilliant content creator and an exceptionally smart strategist, so putting him in charge of the crime and investigative group is the right move,” said Finch. “He is one of our most insightful, creative and passionate storytellers and his skillset is an ideal complement to the work we’re doing in this genre. His forward-looking leadership and track record with hits like Keeping Up With the Kardashians and the 90 Day Fiancé juggernaut is exactly what we need as we expand our crime content on both linear and Discovery Plus.”
Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.
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