TLC has recruited Discovery Channel exec Scott Lewers (pictured) as the U.S. cable network’s senior vice president of multi-platform strategy, a newly created position.
Lewers, who was most recently Discovery’s SVP of programming, will look at ways to grow TLC’s on-air, online and social media audiences. He will work across digital, social, production, marketing, communications, programming, and sales, and report to general manager Nancy Daniels.
While at Discovery, Lewers was responsible for programs such as Shark After Dark – a live, late-night ‘Shark Week’ talk show – and the live event Skywire Live with Nik Wallenda.
Prior to joining Discovery, he was the VP of strategic, multi-platform program planning and acquisitions at NBCUniversal-owned cable net Oxygen and the manager of programming, scheduling and acquisitions at Lifetime Entertainment.
The appointment comes as cable networks grapple with how to translate the relationship – or lack thereof – between social media chatter and linear TV ratings into revenue. The topic was a frequent point of discussion at the Realscreen Summit in Washington, D.C. last month.
During the conference’s closing panel, TLC’s EVP of development and production Howard Lee explained that there are sometimes disparities between programs that are popular with online commenters and cable viewers.
“There is only so much I can push on social in terms of a signal of how much money is coming into our pockets,” he said. “The ratings part is critical because that’s what is paying for the product.”