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Ross out and Finch up as Discovery names post-Scripps team

Discovery has named the new management team that will lead the enlarged company after the Scripps acquisition, with Discovery Channel boss Rich Ross out and Scripps programming chief Kathleen Finch put in charge of all lifestyle channels.

Rich Ross

Discovery said that Ross, currently group president of Discovery Channel and Science Channel, is to leave the company. Ross had headed up the two channels for the last four years. Nancy Daniels, currently president of TLC, will take on the new role of chief brand officer, Discovery and factual with immediate effect, and will take charge of Discovery Channel and Science Channel as part of that expanded remit.

Finch, who is currently chief programming, content and brand officer for Scripps Networks’ six brands, will become chief lifestyle brands officer with 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 US.

Kathleen Finch

Reporting to Finch, Henry Schleiff will continue as group president for ID and domestic US-focused channels Destination America and American Heroes Channel, while Howard Lee, EVP, development and production for TLC and general manager of Discovery Life, is promoted to president and general manager for TLC and Discovery Life.

Jean-Briac Perrette, Discovery Networks International president and CEO, will continue in that role, overseeing the combined company’s international efforts.

Elsewhere, Discovery execs predominate. Gunnar Wiedenfels, Discovery’s CFO, will become CFO of the combined company. Bruce Campbell, currently chief development, distribution and legal officer of Discovery, will continue in that role for the combined company.

Susanna Dinnage and Erik Logan will continue as presidents of Animal Planet and OWN respectively, while Karen Leever, EVP and general manager of digital media in the US and Mike Lang, president, Discovery Networks International digital and CEO of TEN/MotorTrend, will continue in their respective roles.

David Leavy, currently Discovery’s chief corporate operations and communications officer, will continue in that role, while John Honeycutt will be the combined company’s CTO with direct management over global technology operations and strategy, reporting to Leavy.

Scripps national ad sales and marketing president Jon Steinlauf will become chief US advertising sales officer.

The senior executive team will report to Discovery president and CEO David Zaslav.