Discovery’s Zaslav: We’re Back on Track


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Beverly Hills, Calif. -- Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav delivered a message to TV critics Friday: The programmer’s networks, particularly Discovery Channel, are back on track.

“We are really going to try to stay defined and focused,” Zaslav said at the Television Critics Association summer tour here, the first time he’s addressed the writers since becoming head of Discovery six months ago.

During Discovery’s session, a casually attired Zaslav said the network was at its best when it deals with adventure and exploration, programming like the Planet Earthseries. And the channel has gotten back to that focus, on brand, according to Zaslav.

“We took a lot of the programming off of Discovery that didn’t fit within that niche, some forensics programming,” he said. “We also took off some crime programming … when we took the programming off that wasn’t really core to what Discovery’s brand is, our ratings grew.”

During his presentation, Zaslav added that Discovery Communications will also be turning more of its attention to The Science Channel.

Discovery began promoting The Science Channel, and spending more money on it, already during the past year, according to Zaslav. As a result, the ratings are up, particularly in the past six months.

“We are going to spend a lot more money on The Science Channel,” he said. “You are going to see it promoted not only on Discovery, but across all of our platforms, because I think The Science Channel can not only be a great success and one of the top 10 networks in America, here in the United States, but I think we can take it all around the world.”