Zaslav Not Done Trimming Discovery Ranks


David Zaslav isn’t finished wielding his scissors in his quest to sculpt and reorganize Discovery Communications.

With a second round of layoffs and executive reorganization announced earlier this week, the company's CEO said he will turn his attention to other parts of its vast operations -- including a “strategic review” of the Discovery Store chain -- as part of his “aggressive” company-reorganization efforts.

Zaslav said the programmer completed the reorganization of its domestic channels, as well as its education and production business. He added that the company will now take a close look at the retail operation, which currently counts about 100 Discovery Stores and an e-commerce business. Discovery’s retail division counts some 2,000 employees, according to executives.

“We’re having a meaningful strategic review -- who’s succeeding in commerce, how other media companies and retailers playing within our demo, what’s the best thing about our stores -- and trying to come to an overall conclusion about commerce that’s best interest for Discovery Communications,” he said.

Despite the loss of about 200 employees since Zaslav’s arrival in January, he said the company will soon add jobs in several areas, including new media and international, although he would not provide a specific headcount.

“Even though we’re in the middle of an aggressive restructuring -- and we’re not done yet -- the idea isn’t that we’re just getting rid of people,” Zaslav said. “In many cases, we may be eliminating jobs, but in other cases we’re creating new ones. We’re creating new jobs with our [recently announced] PlanetGreen initiative, we’re creating new jobs in new media and we’re creating new jobs in international, where we have a lot of growth.”