Award-Winning programmer JOHN FORD rejoins DISCOVERY
-Exec to Head Times, Military; Stinchcomb Leads HD Theater, Turbo-
SILVER SPRING, Md.- Award-winning TV executive John Ford, most recently at National Geographic Channel, is returning to Discovery Communications to lead Military Channel and Discovery Times Channel. Following the success of Discovery’s recent launches of four HD simulcasts, Clint Stinchcomb will continue to oversee the company’s high definition strategy, the ongoing management of HD Theater, and additionally Turbo Media, a multiplatform, multimedia initiative focused on all things motorized.
As President and General Manager of Military Channel and Discovery Times Channel, Ford will be responsible for the creative and business strategy including programming, operations and new media content. Both of these fast-growing emerging networks reach approximately 50 million homes and are demonstrating strong ratings and creative excellence. Military Channel primetime viewers are up 56% year-to-date and Discovery Times primetime viewers are up 143%, making it the fastest-growing network among all ad-supported cable networks in ratings growth in 2007.
“John is without question one of our industry’s top programming chiefs, and it is our good fortune to welcome him back to the Discovery family,” said David Zaslav, CEO of Discovery Communications. “Clint’s leadership and passion have put Discovery Times and Military on the fast track. I look forward to the same energy and operating expertise for Turbo Media and our aggressive HD strategy.”
Since 2003, Ford has been Executive Vice President, Programming at National Geographic Channel, where he boosted primetime ratings by 150%. Ford developed a strong slate at National Geographic Channel including NAKED SCIENCE, the popular DOG WHISPERER series, as well as specials including IN THE WOMB, INSIDE 9/11 and GALAPAGOS. For the previous 13 years, Ford was at Discovery, where he launched or expanded networks including TLC, Discovery Health Channel and HD Theater. Under his guidance, the networks earned numerous awards, including two Peabody awards and 13 Primetime Emmy nominations.
“John’s sharp development eye will continue building on the success of the Military Channel and Discovery Times, which both have differentiated programming and growing distribution. Investing in high quality original content is key to our strategy of unlocking the full creative and financial value of these brands - and John is the right person to lead us toward that goal,” said Bruce Campbell, President, Digital Media, Emerging Networks and Business Development, to whom both men report. “Clint is one of Discovery’s most talented executives and his management for our expanding HD business and promising Turbo initiative will be key growth drivers for the company going forward.”
“This is a real homecoming for me,” said Ford. “I am extraordinarily impressed with the new management at Discovery Communications, and cannot wait to work with David Zaslav, Bruce Campbell and this team of industry leaders. Military Channel and Discovery Times are great brands with so much promise and potential. I am excited to build upon their growing audience share, and take the brands to the next level of growth and success.”
During his previous tenure at Discovery, Ford served as President of Discovery Health Channel and discoveryhealth.com, which he launched in 1999, subsequently guiding them through their first two years of growth and overseeing the acquisition of a rival channel, The Health Network. Ford oversaw the successful launch of basic cable’s first 24/7 HD channel, HD Theater and was Senior Vice President and General Manager of TLC, which he joined as head of programming in 1991.
Ford holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Duke University and a master’s degree in public affairs from the L.B.J. School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, Austin. He is a member of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the Banff TV Foundation’s Board of Governors and numerous other industry organizations.
TURBO is the multiplatform, multimedia destination for Discovery networks’ best “motorized” content, from choppers to supersonic jets and everything in between. As a multimedia destination, TURBO is designed for people who love the rush and craftsmanship of all things motorized. TURBO programming blocks air on Thursday nights on TLC and Tuesday nights on HD Theater. TURBO’s 24-hour broadband channel, www.turbo.com, highlights cars, bikes, hot rods, planes and boats, as well as events, behind-the-scenes footage and in-depth insights into the passionate personalities that bring these machines to life.
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