Former Arrow Media executive Howard Swartz is returning to the network business.
Discovery has appointed Swartz as SVP of production and development for its flagship network, Discovery Channel.
In the role, Swartz (pictured left) will be responsible for overseeing the network’s documentaries and specials, while also working to expand, develop and diversify Discovery’s series slate and acquisitions. In addition, he will be lead the execution of production strategies for forthcoming event programming, including the week-long hit series ‘Shark Week’, which will launch its 30th season on July 22.
Based out of Discovery’s Los Angeles offices, he will report to Nancy Daniels, chief brand officer for Discovery and factual.
Most recently, Swartz served as EVP of development and production at Arrow Media, where he led the expansion of the London-based prodco’s U.S. slate for such networks as Science Channel, Animal Planet and Discovery Channel.
The move serves as a homecoming for Swartz, who had previously spent four years at Discovery Channel as VP of documentaries and specials, where he oversaw such high-profile global specials as ‘Shark Week’, Skywire Live with Nik Wallenda and science series Curiosity.
Prior to joining Discovery in 2011, Swartz held a number of senior positions, including as executive producer at PBS’ science strand ‘NOVA’ and at National Geographic Channel, overseeing signature series Explorer and executive producing more than 100 programs.
“We are thrilled to have Howard back on the Discovery team,” said Daniels in a statement. “His impressive track record of launching some of television’s most iconic blue-chip programs rivals anyone in the business. The team looks forward to his unique vision and exciting ideas as we continue to program for Discovery’s future.”
Elsewhere, Discovery has promoted Jon Bardin (right) to the post of VP of documentaries and specials, reporting to Swartz.
Bardin was previously director of development and production for documentaries and specials for Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, and Science Channel. In this role, he was responsible for bringing new documentaries and specials to Discovery Channel while managing the development and production of concepts to greenlight, in addition to maintaining the quality of documentaries and specials through production and delivery.
Prior to Discovery, Bardin co-founded The Public Good Projects, a non-profit prodco that produces innovative media “to make complex problems easier to understand so people can take better care of themselves and their families”.