Bob Reid will be taking a crash course in health related issues over the next few weeks. Beginning Monday August 13, the former VP of production for the Discovery Channel officially replaces Kathy Quattrone as senior VP and general manager of Discovery Health. Quattrone announced her resignation in June (see RealScreen Plus June 14, 2001).
While Reid says he will follow the lead established by his predecessors – first John Ford, now president of the content group for Discovery Networks U.S., then Quattrone and most recently Donald Thoms, who filled in as interim head prior to Reid’s appointment – he already has some ideas for innovations. ‘I think there is some room for us to look more deeply into subject matter that is not as well known or talked about publicly…[such as] the whole area of mental illness. There are a lot of areas of that nature – what one might call medical taboos – that we can explore.’
Reid expects to draw on his experiences with the Discovery Channel, though he is aware of the differences between the two cablecasters. ‘If Discovery Health skews 60/40 female, Discovery Channel tends to skew close to that ratio towards men. That’s a different approach to programming which I think will afford opportunities to tell more human stories, to focus more on the individual characters or people in the stories, and to tell, to some degree, more emotional stories – as long as they’re told in the context of good medicine and sound principals. I am looking forward to the chance to focus as much on the people as on the science.’