Silver Spring, Maryland-headquartered media conglomerate Discovery has launched the Digital Studios Group, an expanded hub for digital content creation to support the company’s global businesses and brands.
The newly minted division will serve as a base for social video and creative and branded content for Discovery sites and social channels. The group will work closely with the company’s TVE and direct-to-consumer businesses, led by Peter Faricy, CEO of direct-to-consumer.
Leading the expanded group is Discovery’s Vikki Neil (pictured), who has been elevated to executive vice president and general manager. Neil reports to Kathleen Finch, chief lifestyle brands officer.
Prior to this expanded role, Neil served as SVP and GM of Scripps Lifestyle Studios, the digital arm of Scripps Networks Interactive, prior to Discovery’s March acquisition of Scripps Networks. Here, she helped launch Genius Kitchen, the company’s first food and pop culture-based OTT platform.
Discovery’s Digital Studios Group will continue business responsibility for the Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel and TLC sites and social platforms, while expanding into content responsibility for other brands, digital branded entertainment content and digital creative and audience support to the company’s U.S. ad sales division. Neil’s team will utilize scale and efficiencies to build compelling content across Discovery brands around the world.
Elsewhere, Discovery Channel and Science Channel are prepping a multi-platform limited series that will take audiences to the deepest points of the earth’s five oceans.
Produced by BAFTA- and Emmy-winning Atlantic Productions, Deep Planet (w/t) will follow the Five Deeps Expedition, the first global ocean project to send a manned submersible vessel into the deep oceans never-before-seen by the human eye.
The expedition is a collaboration between investor and explorer Victor Vescovo of Caladan Oceanic, Triton Submarines, and EYOS Expeditions. Experienced deep-sea explorer and scientist Dr. Alan Jamieson of Newcastle University leads the scientific mission.
The mission will chart dives within the Puerto Rico Trench, South Sandwich Trench, Java Trench, Mariana Trench/Challenger Deep and Malloy Deep.
Howard Swartz and Andrew O’Connell are executive producers for Discovery on the series.
Deep Planet is scheduled to debut on Discovery Channel and Science Channel in 2019.