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Discovery’s Hollinger to step down in June 2014

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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 in Asia.

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 Discovery’s 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 Discovery’s 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 TF1’s 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.

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