Discovery unveils executive structure ahead of Scripps close

Scripps's Kathleen Finch will now oversee HGTV, Food Network, TLC, ID, Travel Channel, DIY Network, Cooking Channel, Discovery Life, American Heroes Channel, Destination America, Great American Country and Lifestyle Digital Studios in the U.S. (Discovery)

In anticipation of finalizing its $14.6 billion acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive, Discovery Communications has revealed its revamped executive lineup for the combined company.

“Today’s announcement is another major milestone in combining these two fantastic companies into a new kind of media company with the most trusted portfolio of real life entertainment brands in the world,” said Discovery President and CEO David Zaslav in a statement. “Upon closing, each division will have a best-in-class leader focused on quickly integrating the combined teams to create new ways for advertisers and distributors to reach highly targeted audiences at scale; capturing operating efficiencies across both companies; and driving innovation to continue telling great stories and nourishing our passionate, loyal superfans around the world across every consumer screen, service and platform.”

RELATED: Discovery scores Q4 revenue growth and DOJ OK for Scripps acquisition


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Both Discovery CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels and Jean-Briac Perrette, who is currently serving as president and CEO of Discovery Networks International, will continue in their roles.

Bruce Campbell, chief development, distribution and legal officer of Discovery; Adria Alpert Romm, chief human resources and global diversity officer for Discovery; Susanna Dinnage, global president of the Animal Planet network in the U.S. and Animal Planet brand worldwide; Erik Logan, president of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network; Karen Leever, executive vice president and general manager of Digital Media U.S.; Mike Lang, president of Discovery Networks International Digital and CEO TEN/MotorTrend; and David Leavy, chief corporate operations and communications officer at Discovery, will also retain their current roles.

Jon Steinlauf, currently president of national ad sales and marketing for Scripps Networks, will become Chief U.S. Advertising Sales Officer for the combined company.

Discovery’s John Honeycutt will be the combined company’s chief technology officer.

Kathleen Finch, currently chief programming, content & brand officer for all six Scripps Networks brands, will become chief lifestyle brands officer for the combined company with management oversight of HGTV, Food Network, TLC, ID, Travel Channel, DIY Network, Cooking Channel, Discovery Life, American Heroes Channel, Destination America, Great American Country and Lifestyle Digital Studios in the U.S.

Henry Schleiff will continue as group president for ID, Destination America and American Heroes Channel and Howard Lee, currently executive vice president, development & production for TLC and General Manager of Discovery Life, will be the new president and general manager for TLC and Discovery Life.

In one of the bigger shakeups, Nancy Daniels, currently president of TLC, will assume the new role of chief brand officer and lead all aspects of Discovery Channel and the Science Channel brands. Rich Ross, currently group president of Discovery Channel and Science Channel, is leaving the company.

Discovery this week said that it has received the U.S. Justice Department’s OK on the merger. The deal is still subject to a review in Ireland and other closing conditions. Discovery said the transaction is expected to close by the end of the first-quarter 2018.

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