Discovery Networks Europe has divided its activities and will now operate two distinct business units – one for the U.K., the other for continental Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). The split applies to all business activities outside of central support services, and will enable each group to focus on the program and business priorities unique to their region.
Under the new structure, David Abraham moves from his previous post as general manager of the Branded Content group to become GM for the U.K. region. Says Abraham, ‘It has become clear that staying focused on the needs of the local market is a better way to be organized. The U.K. viewers are very sophisticated in their expectations.’
Although the majority of DNI’s budget will be spent on internationally shared programs, Abraham says the new structure allows the two divisions to develop region-specific content. ‘The new structure provides the opportunity for us to go our own way, where we think it’s appropriate,’ he explains. ‘A producer can now approach Discovery with something that has a very U.K. perspective. Before, when we commissioned for the whole of our region, we never did anything that wouldn’t play in Europe.’
Abraham has appointed Peter Weil VP of the U.K. content group. Weil will manage programming, commissions, production, promotions and publicity for each of the region’s nine branded channels along with a team of directors.
Due to Joyce Taylor’s exit in January, the MD post for the U.K. group remains vacant. At press time, the GM of the EMEA division also remained unnamed. Rick Rodriguez, executive VP for content at DNI, is acting GM EMEA until an appointment is made.