A trio of major executive moves hit the headlines late in the day as realscreen went to press in November, majorly impacting the non-fiction sector as it heads into 2012.
Firstly, at National Geographic Channels U.S., Reveille founding partner Howard T. Owens (pictured) was appointed as president, replacing Steve Schiffman, who has been with Nat Geo since 2002.
Owens will report to David Lyle, CEO of National Geographic Channels U.S. and global programming, and will oversee the programming, development, communications, research and business affairs units at the company’s U.S. networks, while also working closely on the strategic business efforts of its ad sales and affiliate teams.
Off the back of that announcement came the news that Discovery Communications was bidding farewell to its chief operating officer, Peter Liguori, who will leave the firm at the end of this year, with the company eliminating the COO role following his departure.
During his nearly two years with the company, Liguori was responsible for overseeing the launches of Discovery’s joint ventures OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, The Hub and 3net. Discovery Communications president and CEO David Zaslav paid tribute to Liguori’s “leadership, enthusiasm and creative vision,” which he said “brought a fresh and important perspective to Discovery.”
Finally, at Channel 4 in the UK, head of documentaries Hamish Mykura confirmed reports that he would be departing the network he has called home for the past 10 years. Mykura will serve until the year-end, with his exit creating a gap for one of the biggest jobs in the UK non-fiction TV industry.
At press time, there is no word yet on his replacement, although it has been suggested that head of specialist factual Ralph Lee will assume control of the docs department in a new role.