Discovery loses streaming video chief

Food Network Kitchen
Peter Faricy helped launch streaming services including Food Network Kitchen. (Discovery Inc.)

Discovery Inc. said that Peter Faricy, CEO of the company’s direct-to-consumer business, is leaving the company amid work on a broader streaming strategy.

According to an SEC filing, Faricy will leave Discovery effective July 15 and the company is treating his departure as termination not for cause. Discovery CEO David Zaslav announced his departure on Friday and said that Faricy is leaving so he can spend more time with his family, according to a memo obtained by the Hollywood Reporter.

Avi Saxena, Karen Leever and Lisa Holme will take over Faricy’s responsibilities with Discovery’s DTC and digital segment and all three will report directly to Zaslav.

“I remain very confident about the power of our brands, appeal of our authentic talent, passion and loyalty of our fans, and our ability to transform the company to be successful in the new streaming ecosystem that is taking hold around the world,” wrote Zaslav in the memo.

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Discovery has said it plans to launch a new streaming service that will aggregate content from across its brands including HGTV, Discovery Channel, TLC and the Food Network. In May, Zaslav said that work on the new platform has slowed down a little bit since the company can’t hire new employees currently, but he said the company is still on track with building its new service.

While details are still coming into focus for Discovery’s upcoming DTC products, the company is setting new distribution deals to expand reach for those services when they arrive. The company just announced a new deal with Sky across the U.K. and Ireland and as part of the agreement, Sky will be a distribution partner for Discovery’s existing direct-to-consumer streaming services such as MotorTrend and the company’s upcoming direct-to-consumer offerings.

In the meantime, Discovery peers including ViacomCBS and AMC Networks are pushing ahead with their own DTC strategies. ViacomCBS will relaunch CBS All Access next year and add another 15,000 hours of content to the service. Earlier this month, AMC announced AMC+ and WE tv+, two new streaming service bundles offered through Comcast’s Xfinity X1 and Flex platforms.