Discovery has undergone an internal reorganization which has seen a pair of commissioning execs depart from Discovery Channel and Science Channel’s programming teams, Realscreen has confirmed.
Among those exiting the company is Andrew O’Connell (pictured), who served as VP of development and production for Discovery Channel. O’Connell joined Discovery in 2016 and was tasked with working alongside UK indies to find and create new factual content for the U.S. market.
O’Connell recently served as a commissioning editor in the factual team at British commercial network ITV, greenlighting such titles as Life at the Extreme and Britain’s Busiest Airport: Heathrow. Prior to that, he spent four years at Viacom’s free-to-air network Channel 5 as head of factual where he commissioned such programs as Extreme Railways with Chris Tarrant and Trauma Doctors.
Additionally, Joshua Asen, director of development and production for Science Channel, will also make his exit. Asen played a vital role in developing the network’s entertainment-focused series, including Mythbusters Jr. and Battlebots; as well as true crime series Outlaw Tech and Deadly Intelligence. Asen previously served as VP of development at 11th Street Productions, Off the Fence, and more.
The news was first reported by C21 Media Monday (April 8).
Correction: The original story incorrectly stated that Andrew Lessner had also left Discovery. He remains with the company.