Television

Discovery US, Intl undergoes corporate retructuring

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MUMBAI: After taking over the reins of US broadcaster Discovery earlier this year its CEO David Zaslav is ringing in the changes at the senior management level.

Some key people will leave. They are Discovery US president Billy Campbell. Discovery international president Dawn McCall, Animal Planet president and GM Maureen Smith, The Learning Channel president David Abraham and senior executive VP human resources Pandit Wright.

Campbell and Smith's positions have been eliminated. Media reports state that Animal Planet will now be consolidated with Discovery’s other family-centric networks under the heading Animal Planet Media and Discovery Kids Media, That group will be led by Marjorie Kaplan, who is being promoted to president and gm of the new unit. She was earlier Discovery Kids GM.

The bad news does not stop there. Reports add that broader layoffs are expected. Zaslav had said that if the broadcaster is to invest more in new media and business, then it has to invest less in infrastructure. Therefore he is taking a long look at the firm's traditional cost basis.

Discovery has hired Joel Berman, former president of CBS Paramount Worldwide Television, and Tom Wolzien, a veteran media analyst as consultants. Reports add that the shakup is a sign that companies are having to adjust in the face of the advent of digital media.

Zaslav in a staff memo says that the focus is to create a lean and aggressive organization that fosters a real performance culture. "The objective is to push authority and accountability down across the company."

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