Discovery Channel hires John Hoffman for docs push

Discovery Channel has hired former HBO exec John Hoffman (pictured) to be its exec VP of documentaries and specials, in a bid to keep the U.S. net "moving forward as leaders in groundbreaking and award-winning" docs.
January 8, 2015

Discovery Channel has hired former HBO exec John Hoffman (pictured) to be its exec VP of documentaries and specials, in a bid to keep the U.S. net “moving forward as leaders in groundbreaking and award-winning” docs.

Hoffman worked at HBO Documentary Films for 17 years where, in addition to his role as vice president, he most recently exec produced and directed the Emmy nominated four-part doc series The Weight of the Nation.

At Discovery, which he joins effective immediately, he will be responsible and have oversight for all development activities in the alternative and specials area. He will produce original doc programming from development through production, commission and acquire films and specials, and be responsible for developing cross-platform programming.

“Documentaries remain an integral part of what we do and who we are at Discovery,” said Rich Ross, president of Discovery Channel, in a statement.

“Given our legacy, our documentary filmmaking must be valued and protected. John is one of the best in our business, and his filmmaking experience, coupled with his ability to bring together unprecedented partnerships, will keep Discovery moving forward as leaders in groundbreaking and award-winning documentary films.”

Most recently, Hoffman served as CEO of The Public Good Projects, a non-profit production company he founded in 2013. His company’s first film, Sleepless in America, which explored the sleep loss epidemic in the U.S., aired on the National Geographic Channel in 2014, with Hoffman serving as both director and exec producer.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.