Ed Hersh (pictured), most recently head of Discovery Communications’ Military Channel, has left the network to return to content consultancy StoryCentric, the company he founded in 2007.
Hersh had been with Discovery since 2009, where he worked as SVP of strategic planning at Investigation Discovery, before moving over to SVP of content strategy at Military Channel in 2011. He stepped down from Military Channel last Friday (March 1) and has already taken up his role as chief creative officer at New York-based StoryCentric.
StoryCentric gives analysis and strategic insight on production, development and storytelling to networks, producers and distributors.
“I really missed the focus on content itself,” Hersh tells realscreen. “I felt I was getting away from what I feel my greatest passion is. By necessity running a successful channel is so much about finance, administration and HR and a lot of the business side. While I’m fascinated by that, I really felt I’d gone away from the singular focus of the storytelling and the content and the programs themselves. I wanted to make a mid-course correction.”
Hersh will still work with ID as a consultant going forward.
“In this new media environment that we’re in, the lines between platforms and brands are being blurred, [and] I think that the need for real compelling signature storytelling can define a network. For production companies, [it] can define and make their pitches and programming stand out,” he said. “What I’m hoping to do at StoryCentric is work with those production companies and networks in helping them develop that signature storytelling.”
The move will also allow Hersh to focus more time on his role as an adjunct faculty member at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.
Kevin Bennett, SVP of programming and research for Military Channel, will add Hersh’s responsibilities to his existing role, while Henry Schleiff will remain the net’s president and general manager.