People/Biz

David Lyle out, Courteney Monroe up at Nat Geo

National Geographic Channels U.S. CEO David Lyle (pictured) is leaving the American cable network, with chief marketing officer Courteney Monroe stepping up to replace him, as part of a major personnel restructure.
April 15, 2014

National Geographic Channels U.S. CEO David Lyle (pictured, left) is leaving the American cable network, with chief marketing officer Courteney Monroe (right) stepping up to replace him, as part of a major personnel restructure.

The news comes a day after the network announced that NGC U.S. president Howard T. Owens would be departing.

In other changes, David Hill – who currently serves as senior exec VP of 21st Century Fox and is a member of the NGC board of directors – is to become chairman of NGC U.S., a role in which he will provide counsel to the executive and programming leadership team.

He will remain a member of the NGC board and will “continue to play a leadership role in the production of American Idol, National Geographic said in a statement.

Lyle’s departure comes after three years with the broadcaster, which he joined in 2011. No reasons have been given for his and Owens’ departures, but in a joint statement,¬†Fox Networks Group CEO and chairman Peter Rice and National Geographic Society president and CEO Gary E. Knell paid tribute to the outgoing CEO.

“David Lyle led National Geographic Channels U.S. through a period of tremendous commercial and creative growth, including the highest-rated period in the channel’s history,” said Rice and Knell. “We will be forever grateful to David for his efforts and we join the entire National Geographic family in wishing him the best in his future endeavors.”

Rice added that Lyle “has been an integral part of the Fox family for many years. He created the Fox Reality Channel and Fox Look, which produced and licensed unscripted formats for sale around the world.

“Of equal import was his work while president of Entertainment, FremantleMedia, where he was a key leader of the team that launched and guided American Idol through its first three years of phenomenal growth. On behalf of my colleagues at Fox, I would like to personally thank David for all his contributions to our company over the years.”

Monroe, meanwhile, takes the reins as CEO of NGC U.S. on May 1. She will be responsible for all operations of the domestic NGC, which are owned by a partnership between Fox Networks Group and the National Geographic Society. These include National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo Wild and Nat Geo Mundo.

Prior to joining NGC in 2012, she was exec VP for consumer marketing and digital platforms at Home Box Office, responsible for the marketing of the HBO and Cinemax brands and their programming across all platforms.

“Courteney is a truly remarkable executive, with a proven track record of energizing programming brands,” said Rice and Knell, “both here at National Geographic Channels and during her time at HBO. She is also a proven leader, who has a clear vision of the television landscape, and we are very lucky to have her overseeing our domestic channels.”

Monroe added: “During my tenure as CMO at the National Geographic Channels, I have seen the power of this brand, and am excited by the opportunity to grow these networks, both creatively and commercially, for our partners and our advertisers.

“Being part of the team that laid such a strong foundation over the past few years has given me invaluable insight into what it is going to take to get us to the next level.”

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.

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