Former Discovery Networks U.S. programming executive John Ford has resurfaced
as executive vice president of programming for Discovery Channel competitor
National Geographic Channel.
Ford -- who left Discovery last February after being passed over for the
Discovery Networks president position nine months earlier -- will oversee all
aspects of NGC’s programming strategy, including development, production,
acquisition and scheduling, according to NGC president Laureen Ong.
"John’s vast experience and strategic mind will be of tremendous value during
this crucial stage of the network’s evolution," Ong said in a prepared
statement. "I am confident that his seasoned vision will help us to reach our
long-term goals as a fully distributed network within an increasingly
The 13-year Discovery veteran was previously president of new media for
Discovery, during which time he oversaw the debut of Discovery HD Theater. Prior
to that, Ford was president of Discovery’s content group, overseeing all content
and programming for Discovery’s stable of U.S. networks and online services.
Ford is credited for turning around The Learning Channel and launching
Discovery Health Channel.
In March 2002, Ford was considered the leading candidate to take over for
departing Discovery Networks president Johnathan Rodgers, but the programmer two
months later instead hired broadcast-network-programming executive Billy
Campbell for the position.
In August 2002, Ford -- who denied that Campbell’s hiring prompted his
eventual resignation -- was moved from his post as president of the content
group to become president of new media.