Discovery Communications made it official today, acquiring a controlling interest from Hasbro Studios in The Hub, which will be renamed Discovery Family next month.
Veteran Tom Cosgrove was named general manager of the service, which will be transformed on Oct. 13.
Discovery will up its ownership position to 60% from 50%, as Hasbro Studios drops to 40%. Hasbro Studios will continue to program the converted network’s daytime hours, while primetime program initially will showcase Discovery library fare spanning history, adventure, nature, and science genres targeting families.
The transformation of The Hub is the latest in a long line of conversions by the programmer. Discovery has made a business out of repurposing channels and with 70 million homes, The Hub is what Discovery CEO David Zaslav has called “beachfront real estate.” The programmer has had success in the past converting Discovery Health into the Oprah Winfrey Network, Planet Green into Destination America and The Military Channel into American Heroes Channel.
Under the executive management of group president Henry Schleiff, Cosgrove will manage all network operations and programming, working closely with the Hasbro Studios team. Most recently the chief of 3net and 3net Studios, Cosgrove’s career includes stints as executive vice president and COO of Discovery Channel and Science Channel. Prior to joining Discovery, he also held senior leadership positions at ABC Family, Fox Family, Fox Kids and TV Guide Channel.
“Hasbro is a world-class company with franchises and characters that appeal to kids and families around the world. They have been terrific partners over the past several years as we developed our kids television audience in the U.S., and we look forward to a continued strong collaboration as we evolve to the Discovery Family Channel together,” said Zaslav. “Henry’s proficiency in developing and growing strong brands combined with Tom’s experience on Discovery’s flagship brand and deep background in family programming make for a perfect leadership team to drive the network toward future growth.”
“The next chapter of our collaboration will harness the incredible content strengths of both Discovery and Hasbro to program Discovery Family Channel with highly-rated award-winning storytelling around Hasbro’s brands and Discovery’s most popular non-fiction shows that appeal to both children and families alike,” said Hasbro president and CEO Brian Goldner. “Discovery Communications has a nearly 30-year track record of building television brands that create maximum value for advertisers and distributors through their world-class raft of programming and we look forward to evolving this network together.”