People/Biz

Discovery Networks Int’l realigns European operations

Discovery Networks International has restructured its European operations into three clusters, with Dee Forbes leading Northern Europe, Marinella Soldi leading Southern Europe, and Kasia Kieli running Central and Eastern Europe. (Pictured: DNI president JB Perrette)
November 11, 2014

Discovery Networks International (DNI) has restructured its European operations into three clusters.

The move is designed to position the TV giant for further growth, maximize operations and increase revenue. The three clusters are Northern Europe, Southern Europe, and Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEEMA).

Discovery Network Northern Europe will be led by Dee Forbes – formerly the head of Discovery Networks Western Europe – as president and managing director. She will focus on the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Nordics and Benelux. Henrik Ravn, who managed Discovery’s Nordics operations following the acquisition of SBS in 2012, will step down at the end of the year.

Marinella Soldi will lead Discovery Networks Southern Europe as president and MD. She will add France to her current portfolio, which already includes Italy, Spain and Portugal.

Finally, Discovery Networks CEEMA president and managing director Kasia Kieli will add Germany, Austria and Switzerland to her portfolio.

Last week, parent company Discovery Communications’ quarterly report indicated that international revenue now exceeds that from the United States. DNI’s free-to-air and pay-TV channel portfolio, which includes Discovery Channel, TLC and Animal Planet, reaches 643 million viewers outside the United States, the company said.

“Discovery Communications has achieved tremendous success outside the U.S. by driving organic growth and complementing it with targeted acquisitions, most recently Eurosport International,” said company president JB Perrette (pictured above). “Our European business has expanded significantly over the past four years and the time is right to realign regional operations to build upon our significant strategic advantage andĀ unlock further growth.”

In total, DNI comprises five regional operational centers: Northern Europe, Southern Europe, CEEMA, Latin America/U.S. Hispanic and Asia-Pacific.

“Dee Forbes, Kasia Kieli and Marinella Soldi are exceptional leaders with demonstrated track records of building value for our company and these changes will enable them to better capitalize on the benefits of having a mix of free-to-air and pay-TV businesses across Europe,” Perrette added. “I am grateful to Henrik for shepherding recent successes with the invaluable support of his talented management team and wish him every success in his future endeavors.”

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