Discovery extends David Zaslav’s contract to end of 2019

Discovery Communications has extended the contract of president and CEO David Zaslav (pictured) through to the end of the decade.
January 3, 2014

Discovery Communications president and CEO David Zaslav (pictured) will continue helming the company until the end of 2019, following a contract extension.

Discovery director John Malone, who also serves as the chairman of Liberty Media Corporation and Liberty Global, praised Zaslav for building “a strong management team that has expanded the company’s reach and relevance, increased its market share domestically and around the world, and created a bigger, stronger portfolio of brands.”

Zaslav joined Discovery as CEO in 2007, after almost 20 years at NBCUniversal. Since then, the company’s networks have doubled from 100 to about 200 and its channels are now distributed in more than 220 countries.

In 2008, Discovery Communications became a public company and its market capitalization increased from US$6 billion to more than $30 billion. In the past five years, profits have tripled and Discovery has launched networks brands such as Investigation Discovery (ID), Velocity, Destination America and OWN.

“With the most creative and dynamic leadership team in the business, a talented and committed workforce, a strong financial position, and an unmatched global platform, I am extraordinarily confident of Discovery’s growth prospects for the years ahead,” Zaslav said in a statement.

His contract will expire on December 31, 2019. In a regulatory filing, Discovery said that Zaslav’s base salary will be US$3 million per year for the duration of the contract, with a target annual bonus for 2014 of $6.6 million. The target bonus will increase by $600,000 each year until 2018. For 2018 and 2019, Zaslav’s target annual bonus will be $9 million.

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.