MUMBAI: For many broadcast vets in Asia, Mark Hollinger is
a familiar face. The president & CEO of Discovery Networks
International has pushed growth for the network outside of
the US, especially in Europe and Asia in its early days of
expansion globally. Come June 2014, Hollinger will no longer
be winging it to Asia on Discovery business. The reason: he
has decided not to renew his contract with the network when
in it expires mid next year.
The 20 plus year old Discovery veteran informed president
and CEO David Zaslav of his decision last week, the network
says. What prompted him to do so was the fact that he is tired
of the many air miles his job demands in countries in times
zones out of kilter with the US (more than 150 days each year
for the past several years). Hollinger added that he wants
to spend more time staying rooted in Uncle Sam and with family.
Hollinger joined Discovery in 1991 as Vice-President &
Deputy General Counsel. In 1994, he was named Acting General
Manager for Discovery Channel Asia. Based in Hong Kong, he
was responsible for overseeing and coordinating all activities
related to the operation and launch of the flagship network
Hollinger today oversees the strategic development and daily
operations for a division that distributes 42 entertainment
brands, in 45 languages, to more than 1.6 billion cumulative
subscribers in 224 countries and territories across Europe,
the Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America.
In 2012 and 2013, Hollinger oversaw the expansion Discoverys
international operations with the acquisitions of Takhayal
Entertainment and its affiliated companies in Dubai and Egypt,
including its flagship TV network, Fatafeat, the No 1 food
network in the Middle East; Switchover Media in Italy and
its portfolio of four free-to-air channels and one pay-TV
channel, making Discovery the third largest broadcaster in
the country; and the largest transaction in Discoverys
history with SBS Nordics, a top-three portfolio of television
brands across Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland that feature
leading nonfiction content, locally produced entertainment
programs, sports and the best scripted series and movies from
major studios. Hollinger also engineered the investment of
a 20 per cent stake in TF1s Eurosport, a top destination
for live sporting action for viewers across Europe and Asia-Pacific.
Said Zaslav: "Mark is a consummate professional and
amazing leader who has made a huge impact on all of us at
Discovery Communications over the 23 years he has been at
the company, and I am so grateful for his contributions, leadership
and unwavering integrity."
Discovery Communications announced that it would be looking
for a successor for Hollinger immediately.