Not quite a year after he was announced, and only eight months after assuming the job, Phil Craig is bowing out as VP and chief creative officer of Discovery Networks International. News broke as Craig was attending MIPCOM.
“Phil Craig has decided to step down from his role as EVP & Chief Creative Officer with Discovery Networks International, and go back to his roots as a leading independent producer,” DNI said today in a statement. “He enjoyed creative success at DNI and shepherded several series and specials that will hit the air in 2016, including a ground breaking natural history series Life of Dogs, and played a key role in bringing the critically acclaimed film, Sherpa to Discovery. DNI’s production and development team thanks Phil for his service and dedication and look forward to working with him in the future.”
In August, about six months after Craig actually started his DNI gig, Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav and DNI president JB Perrette announced the appointment of 20-year Discovery veteran Marjorie Kaplan to a newly-created post: President of Content at DNI, which meant Craig would report to Kaplan. In that announcement, the execs called Discovery’s international business its “key differentiator.”
Last November, Discovery named Craig to his newly created position, Craig will lead the production and development group, which spans five locations: Silver Spring, New York, Miami, London, and Singapore. He would develop factual and lifestyle content primarily for flagship global networks Discovery Channel and TLC, and would work collaboratively with his US counterparts on content sharing and development, the company said. He was to report to JB Perrette, President of Discovery Networks International, and would be based in London with a starting date of February 2015.
He joined Discovery from Australia’s ABC TV, where he has held the post of Head of Factual since 2012, based in Sydney. During Craig’s time at ABC TV, he drove a number of high-profile initiatives, including Redesign My Brain. Prior to his role at ABC TV, Craig worked for UK independent producer Nutopia, where he took charge of the Discovery landmark series How We Invented The World and was originating producer on hit series The 80s, The Decade That Made Us and How We Got To Now With Stephen Johnson.