Rodgers to Exit Discovery

Author:
Updated:
Original:

The revolving door at Discovery Networks U.S. continued to spin Thursday as
president Johnathan Rodgers resigned his post, effective at the end of March, to
explore other 'entrepreneurial' programming ventures.

Rodgers, who oversaw the day-to-day operations of the 11-network division,
decided not to renew his contract, which expired last December.

Rodgers, one of the highest-ranking African-American executives in cable,
joined Discovery Communications Inc. in 1996 to oversee Discovery Channel and
presided over the successful launches of Animal Planet, Discovery Health Channel
and six digital services, as well as the acquisition of Travel Channel.

Rodgers said that during his tenure, the value of DCI grew from $1 billion in
1996 to $20 billion today.

Discovery Networks executives declined comment, but in an internal memo, DCI
president Judith McHale said the company was 'grateful' for Rodgers' service to
the company.

Rodgers called his departure from Discovery 'amicable,' adding that he has no
imminent future plans, but hinting that he would like to get involved in some
'entrepreneurial' opportunities, possibly revolving around the launch of an
African-American-based network.

He confirmed that he's had talks with executives from several potential
African-American services, as well as executives from the struggling New Urban
Entertainment Television (NUE-TV) network, but he isn't close to reaching any
deals.

Rodgers also said he may do some traveling, or 'take time and reflect' on his
future.

Rodgers is the latest Discovery executive to jump ship in recent months. Two
weeks ago, The Learning Channel executive vice president and general manager
Jana Bennett announced that she will leave her post to rejoin the British
Broadcasting Corp. in April.

Other Discovery executives to leave during the past year include: Mike
Quattrone, who had been GM of Discovery Channel; his wife, Kathy Quattrone, who
left as GM of Discovery Health; and Charley Humbard, who served as GM of
Discovery's digi-nets.

Related