UBS Media Conference: Zaslav Says Channel Branding a Priority


Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav updated investors on his company's plans to grow, emphasizing the need to brand its services more distinctly.

Zaslav explained that the move to tap former Fox Entertainment chairman Peter Liguori as COO was intended to help the channel provider define its services more clearly.

Liguori, whose appointment was announced Dec. 6, is also the point man for OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, which is gearing up for launch January 2011. The company would also like Liguori to develop a closer relationship with Creative Arts Agency, which had a hand in bringing Discovery and Oprah Winfrey together, along with the wider Hollywood community.

"Peter is a great marketer; he was head of marketing at HBO and created FX net, and he'll work with us as a team to figure out what our brands are," said Zaslav. "You should know what a Discovery show is; if it isn't on brand, it hurts your CPM. We really need to figure out who we are."

While programming plans for OWN have been kept very close to the vest, Zaslav hinted that some Oprah spin-offs might gain a cable window. He said Winfrey would be on the channel in a "meaningful way," and added, "Dr. Phil, Nate Berkus or Gayle King, there's a ton of great talent Oprah's developed, almost all of which we'll look to have on the network."

Read the full story at B&C here.