Discovery Communications has announced plans to move its global headquarters from Silver Spring, Maryland to New York City in 2019.
Contingent upon the closing of its acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive, the company will also establish a national operations headquarters in Knoxville, Tennessee.
“The media industry is rapidly evolving, increasingly global, more consumer focused and more multi-platform and Discovery must evolve with it,” said David Zaslav (pictured), Discovery’s president and CEO, in announcing the move to employees on Tuesday morning (January 9). “The decision to move our global headquarters from its founding home is one we do not make lightly. We remain unwavering in our support of the Maryland and Greater Washington, DC area and we thank the leadership of the State of Maryland, Montgomery County and, most importantly, our employees for their cooperation and understanding as we make this important next step for the long-term success of Discovery.”
The company will bring together all current Discovery and, pending closing of the transaction, Scripps employees currently located across several different facilities in New York in the new global HQ. Planning for the space and location in New York is underway with an anticipated move to a new building by the second half of 2019.
The current Scripps Knoxville campus will become Discovery’s national operations headquarters pending closure of the Scripps acquisition. It will continue to be home to what the company calls “the major Scripps brands” and creative digital teams along with corporate functions.
Having been stationed in the Maryland and DC vicinity over the last 30-plus years, in order to continue to draw from the production community that has evolved in the area in that timeframe, Discovery will continue to operate a “Maryland network hub” that will accommodate select network and support functions, as well as select other areas such as government relations.
In its statement, the company says it will “evaluate duplication of other facilities and functions in other cities around the world following the closing of the Scripps acquisition to determine the most efficient and effective plan for housing its combined company employee base.” As well, Discovery says it will make decisions on “individual job status and relocation” after the close of the Scripps deal.
Discovery was founded in 1985, in Landover, Maryland. The company moved its global HQ to nearby Bethesda in 1991, and then to its current location in 2003. The company employs approximately 1,300 people in the Silver Spring area, while Scripps’ Knoxville headquarters houses more than 1,000.
The company says the sale and closure of its Silver Spring building is expected approximately one year from closing the Scripps transaction.