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Veteran International Exec ELHABASHI takes key role


-- Former MTV Exec to COO at Discovery Networks International --

SILVER SPRING, Md..- Discovery Networks International today named MTV executive Sahar Elhabashi as Chief Operating Officer.

Reporting to Greg Ricca, President and CEO, Discovery Networks International, Elhabashi will be based in London and will manage the day-to-day operations of the company’s international business, which distributes 15 media brands to 781 million cumulative subscribers in more than 170 countries across Europe, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. Elhabashi will be tasked with growing audience share on television and digital platforms around the world and ensuring efficiencies in order to drive profitability across the division.

“Sahar is a highly talented executive with extensive international experience building one of the industry’s top media brands,” said Ricca. “With a proven track record in strategy and new business development, Sahar will bring fresh vision to the business and ensure the continued growth and margin expansion of Discovery’s international networks across all platforms.”

In this role, Elhabashi will work in partnership with senior management across the division to set strategic priorities and support higher levels of performance, and will collaborate with Discovery’s U.S. network groups to represent international interests and leverage content in order to realize economies of scale and develop aligned brands. Working closely with the division president, she will oversee all core functions including international strategy and business development, digital media, marketing and programming coordination, program operations, corporate research, licensing and international program sales.

Elhabashi joins Discovery from MTV Networks International, where she has served as Executive Vice President, Strategy and Digital Media since 2001. In this role, she was responsible for multiplatform media strategy and new business development as well as commercial planning and reporting, consumer products and program sales. She oversaw the rapid expansion of MTV’s international digital media business in Europe, Asia and Latin America, including the launch of branded mobile TV channels and broadband services around the world. Under Elhabashi’s leadership, MTV’s international digital reach expanded to include over 50 mobile video platforms, more than 70 Internet sites including 15 broadband services, and numerous interactive TV applications to complement the company’s television networks. Elhabashi also led the team that developed Flux, the world’s first mobile entertainment community, in Japan in 2005, and helped to drive negotiations for the purchase of MTV’s largest international acquisition, Germany’s VIVA Media AG.

Elhabashi joined MTV Networks International in 1992 as Manager of New Business Development for MTV Europe, based in London, and served in a variety of senior posts within the company. Prior to joining MTV, Elhabashi worked as a consultant for the Boston Consulting Group.

A native of Alexandria, Egypt, Elhabashi holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a B.S. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


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