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Marjorie Kaplan to lead Discovery Intl’s content strategy

MUMBAI: Discovery president, CEO David Zaslav and Discovery Networks International president JB Perrette have tapped strategic creative leader Marjorie Kaplan to become Discovery Networks International new president of content.

In the newly created role, Kaplan will be the international content leader responsible for strategy, coordination, and execution of all the division’s content and brand strategies across the entire portfolio, and on all platforms worldwide. She will report to Perrette and relocate this October to Discovery’s international headquarters in London.

Zaslav said, “There is no one more talented, dynamic and strategic to lead Discovery’s international content strategy than Marjorie Kaplan. She has an unparalleled track record of developing breakthrough content across brands and demographics that travels well internationally, receives critical acclaim, and brings in big audiences. Marjorie also has a sharp eye for content that is genre- and format-busting, which should serve the company extremely well in this new position. Discovery’s international business is the company’s key differentiator, and I am excited to watch Marjorie take our global content engine to the next level.”

Perrette said, “Marjorie is one of the most respected leaders externally and internally as a fantastic collaborator, creative programmer, and preferred partner to the production community. Our global content capability and expertise is our most important asset, and I am thrilled to have Marjorie’s immense talent to help drive our international content strategy.”

“I am excited to join the international leadership team and to partner with them on a global creative culture that generates brand-building content and ambitious intellectual property that can help Discovery soar in all of the 220 countries and territories where our brands are already strong,” said Kaplan.

Kaplan will be responsible for global brands and formats, female lifestyle, male factual, scripted, and kids – for all platforms, from linear to OTT to free-to-air. She will lead the DNI Production & Development team, working with Discovery’s regional managing directors and heads of content to ensure that the pipeline of content is strong, vibrant and forward-leaning. She will work closely with Discovery’s production companies betty, RAW and All3Media as well as the entire production community to unlock the creativity and untapped intellectual property.

Phil Craig, Discovery Networks International’s chief creative officer, who has injected passion and innovation into DNI’s creative process since joining six months ago, will report to Kaplan, as will Rosemary Newell, SVP programming & content operations. And with Discovery’s recent acquisition of the exclusive TV and multiplatform rights to the 2018-2024 Olympic Games across Europe, Marjorie will look to create new content and storytelling ideas that maximise the value of the Olympic franchise across Europe, working closely with the Eurosport team.

Kaplan is a nearly 20-year veteran of Discovery. She launched Discovery Kids. In 2007, she took over Animal Planet and led a creative surge to give the brand more teeth and grew its relevancy to become a top 20 network for men in the United States. In 2014, Kaplan also took on the leadership of TLC. Her oversight also includes Velocity, which has become a major supplier of “motor/turbo” content around the world. Kaplan also was the interim head of Discovery Channel, beginning an important creative and cultural change at the flagship to help position the network for its resurgence under new president Rich Ross.