Discovery Communications has promoted Rick Holzman (pictured) to the role of general manager and executive VP of U.S. cable network Animal Planet.
Formerly the exec VP of programming and scheduling for Animal Planet and sister net Science Channel, he will now oversee strategy and all day-to-day operations while continuing to report to Marjorie Kaplan, group president of TLC and Animal Planet.
Holzman joined the network in 2007 and worked on its rebranding, as well as commissioning, acquisitions, coproductions and scheduling strategy.
Prior to that, he spent three years as the VP of programming and scheduling at Discovery Channel and two years in programming/marketing research at USA Network.
His credits at Animal Planet include River Monsters, Treehouse Masters, Whale Wars and Finding Bigfoot, as well as the network’s ‘Monster Week’ strand.
“Rick Holzman is one of the most brilliant minds in the media industry and a key driver of Animal Planet’s significant growth as an entertainment destination over the last several years,” said Kaplan in a statement.
In related Animal Planet news, the network will air the previously announced scripted film The Whale starring Martin Sheen this fall. The two-hour feature is a coproduction with BBC Productions and recounts the sinking of The Essex, which inspired Herman Melville’s classic novel Moby Dick.