Television

Discovery US president McHale to step down in December

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MUMBAI: Discovery US president and CEO Judith A. McHale is stepping down as of 1 December to participate more directly in discussions related to domestic and global issues.
Discovery founder and chairman John S. Hendricks announced that McHale will play an on-going special role advising him on all of Discovery’s education business initiatives and will continue to serve in a voluntary capacity as the chairman of the Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership.

Hendricks says, "Judith McHale is one of the world’s most talented executives, a media pioneer who has become a thought leader on so many issues that concern our nation and our planet.

"Throughout her distinguished career at Discovery, Judith has made an unparalleled contribution towards making Discovery the phenomenal business success and force for good it has become. The Discovery brand and our services around the world are more respected and acclaimed than ever. Ratings and revenues are up. Our education initiatives have launched and are a key part of our future success and our multiplatform strategy is propelling Discovery as an industry leader.

"With this strong foundation in place, Judith has decided this is an advantageous time to pursue her public affairs interests. She has my full support and best wishes as she embarks on this new course. On behalf of the entire Discovery family, I know we all will miss her leadership, creativity and passion for our business. I, nevertheless, look forward to continuing our partnership as she helps with Discovery’s crucially important education businesses that she helped to spearhead" .

McHale says, "I am enormously proud of all that we at Discovery have achieved together. When I first came to Discovery, we were a small company with great ambitions. Today, we are the leading provider of factual media in the world with over 100 networks distributed to over one billion subscribers in 170 countries. In addition, we have expanded our efforts to reach consumers with the trusted knowledge-based products and services they need to help navigate this increasingly complex world.

"I have been truly privileged and honoured to have been part of such an amazing organisation with incredibly dedicated and creative people. In particular, we have had an extraordinary group of shareholders who have always been supportive of all our efforts. Their unflinching support of quality programming and services is rare in today’s media marketplace.

"As hard as it is to leave this outstanding company I believe passionately that we all have an obligation to participate fully and actively in the civic life of the communities in which we live. Today, as a global society, we face enormous social and political challenges. Throughout my life and career, I have tried to do what I could to confront and understand these issues. Now I want to become more directly involved in working with others to find solutions."

Discovery will conduct a search of both internal and external candidates for a new CEO to succeed McHale. Discovery’s shareholder representatives from Discovery Holding Company, Advance/Newhouse Communications and Cox Communications will serve on the Discovery CEO Search Committee, which John Hendricks will chair.

Hendricks adds, "With Judith’s fulltime leadership until 1 December, I am confident that Discovery can accomplish a seamless leadership transition. At Discovery, we have built a very special leadership team of some of our industry’s leading executives in all the key aspects of our business. It is a priceless opportunity for someone to lead this team of outstanding professionals."

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