Howard T. Owens (pictured) is to step down as president of National Geographic Channels U.S. in June.
In a statement issued this morning, Nat Geo gave no reason for Owens’ departure, and there were no details of a next job for him.
Owens joined Nat Geo in late 2011, replacing Steve Schiffman, who had been with the network since 2002. Before joining the company, Owens was a founding partner at U.S. prodco Reveille, and before that was an agent at WMA.
In a statement, CEO of National Geographic Channels U.S. CEO David Lyle, who was responsible for bringing Owens to the network, said: “Howard injected remarkable energy into the National Geographic Channels brand. He has been an invaluable member of our leadership team and we wish him nothing but the best in his future business endeavors.”
Owens added: “As I get ready for my next adventure I can’t help but reflect on what has been an incredible experience for me, both personally and professionally.
“National Geographic Channels have some of the brightest minds in the television business, and I’m proud of the work we have accomplished together — specifically in defining the National Geographic Channels as a destination for innovative, original and brand-defining creativity. I am deeply grateful to Peter, David and the entire National Geographic family for their collaboration and support, and look forward to working with them in new ways in the future.”
There is no word yet from the network on who will replace Owens at Nat Geo, however Peter Rice, chairman and CEO of Fox Networks Group, said Owens had left the network in a strong position.
“We have truly benefited from Howard’s zeal for bringing audiences innovative programming that underscores the uniqueness and depth of the National Geographic Channels brand,” Rice said. “From a creative and programming perspective, Howard’s work consistently broke new ground, and National Geographic Channels are uniquely positioned for the future as a result of his efforts.”