Acclaimed programmer Michael Cascio has been named executive vice president
and general manager of Animal Planet, John Ford, president of the content group
at Discovery Networks U.S., announced Wednesday.
Cascio replaces Clark Bunting, who began heading sister network Discovery
Channel in April.
In his new role at Animal Planet, Cascio, who reports directly to Ford, will
oversee all programming, development, production and operations for Animal
Most recently vice president, cable programming at NBC News -- where he had
overseen such shows at Headliners & Legends with Matt Lauer and
MSNBC Investigates since 1999 -- Cascio is perhaps best known in industry
circles for the nine years he spent at A&E Network.
At A&E, he served as senior vice president, programming, and he was
responsible for developing Biography, Investigative Reports and
the channel's array of original dramas, performances and documentaries.
His work netted five Emmy Awards, four CableACE Awards and many other
industry honors, including an Academy Award nomination for The Farm, the
original documentary chronicling life inside a Louisiana prison.
This month, Animal Planet became the fastest cable channel ever to reach the
70 million-subscriber plateau, reaching it after 55 months compared with the
former record of 73 months held by The History Channel, according to Nielsen
Media Research data.