David Royle, EVP of programming and production and a founding team member of the Smithsonian Channel, is leaving in the new year after 14 years at the network, Realscreen has confirmed.
A source confirmed that Royle would be leaving to “pursue new ventures.”
Under Royle’s editorial direction, Smithsonian Channel, originally a joint venture between Showtime Networks and the Smithsonian Institute, established itself as one of the world’s premium factual entertainment channels by winning six Emmys, gaining 31 Emmy nominations, The Television Academy Honors, a BAFTA and a Peabody.
Royle also played a key role in successfully launching the channel throughout the UK, Latin America and Brazil.
Among the programs commissioned by Royle were Aerial America, America in Color, the recently announced Cher’s Elephant Airlift, Ultimate Viking and Green Book: Guide to Freedom.
It’s another in a round of executive changes at the ViacomCBS channel, following the departure of Smithsonian Networks president Tom Hayden and the recent hiring of PBS and ABC alum James F. Blue as SVP and head of the channel. Blue will also have oversight of all factual and unscripted content for MTV Entertainment’s portfolio of brands across streaming, linear and digital.