Discovery Communications said longtime programming executive Marjorie Kaplan will lead the company's international content strategy, a key growth area, reporting to Discovery Networks International president JB Perrette. Kaplan, who has been with Discovery for close to 20 years, has been lately overseeing Animal Planet and TLC. The company did not say what will happen with those roles when Kaplan transitions to her new London-based job in October.
Discovery said that in her 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."
“There is no one more talented, dynamic and strategic to lead Discovery’s international content strategy than Marjorie Kaplan,” Discovery CEO Dvaid Zaslav said in a release. “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.”
“Marjorie is one of the most respected leaders externally and internally as a fantastic collaborator, creative programmer, and preferred partner to the production community,” Perrette said in the release. “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,” Kaplan said.
Here's how Discovery described her new role: 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, and Rosemary Newell, senior vice president of programming & content operations, will report to Kaplan. Discovery noted the company recently acquired exclusive TV and multiplatform rights to the 2018-2024 Olympic Games across Europe, and that Kaplan will "look to create new content and storytelling ideas that maximize the value of the Olympic franchise across Europe, working closely with the Eurosport team."
Kaplan launched Discovery Kids and, in 2007, took over Animal Planet. In 2014, she also took on the leadership of TLC. Her oversight also includes Velocity, and she had been the interim head of Discovery Channel, now operating under president Rich Ross.