EXCLUSIVE: Discovery has expanded Nancy Daniels‘ role at the company. She has been named General Manager of Discovery Fit & Health, heading all operations for the network, including development and programming. Daniels will also keep her current responsibilities as EVP Production and Development, West for Discovery Channel, overseeing all aspects of development and programming for Discovery Channel that originate from the network’s West Coast offices. Additionally, Daniels will oversee all live events for the network that have included such recent specials as Chopper Live. Daniels is based in Los Angeles and will continue to report to Eileen O’Neill, Group President Discovery and TLC Networks. “Nancy has a proven track record for sharp storytelling and recognizing compelling real-life characters,” O’Neill said.
Discovery Fit & Health has been without a dedicated top executive since SVP Rita Mullin last year moved to sister network OWN where she is head of programming. The once small fitness channel FitTV was rebranded as Discovery Fitness & Health in 2011, merging FitTV’s programming with that of the bigger Discovery Health Channel after it became OWN. Discovery Fit & Health’s ratings have been sporadic, and O’Neill indicated that Daniels will spearhead a rebuilding effort. “When I want to reinvigorate a network, Nancy is my go-to,” O’Neill said. “By placing this operation under her supervision, I can maximize her ability to give this network a new direction, as we did with both TLC and Discovery Channel.”
Daniels has served as EVP Production and Development for Discovery Channel since 2011. During her tenure, she has overseen all of the network’s programming, including such long-running series as Deadliest Catch and American Chopper, newer hits Gold Rush and Bering Sea Gold, live special Chopper Live, and documentaries such as Frozen Planet and Africa. Her upcoming projects include All The President’s Men Revisited and The Big Brain Theory. Daniels previously served as SVP Production and Development for TLC, where she oversaw the launch of such series as Cake Boss, The Little Couple, Sister Wives and Sarah Palin’s Alaska. Daniels joined Discovery Communications in 2007 as VP Development and Production for Discovery Studios-West. Before that she was at CBS, where she served as VP Alternative Series Development, working on Survivor, The Amazing Race, Big Brother and Rock Star.