Discovery Communications has promoted Robert Scanlon to general manager of Velocity network. Since October of 2011, Scanlon has been SVP at the network, which made news recently when Patrick Dempsey, star of its four-part miniseries Patrick Dempsey: Racing Le Mans, told the press at TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2013 that acting — the thing he does on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy — is that which he does in order to finance his real love, which is race car driving. From today’s announcement:

 Previously, Scanlon served as vice president in the Discovery Communications Emerging Networks Group, where his responsibilities included program development and production for Military Channel and HD Theater.  Prior to joining Discovery, he was recruited by the NFL to manage the creation and launch of the NFL Network. Previously, as part of founding management at Speedvision Network and Outdoor Life Network, Scanlon planned the staffing, programming, production and network operation of the channels.

In 1979, Scanlon was one of the first 35 employees at upstart network ESPN, where he was immediately involved in every aspect of the company from the construction of the broadcast facility to overseeing programming and network operations.  During his 16-year tenure at ESPN, Scanlon served as senior coordinating producer for motorsports and as the executive in charge of production for college football and Major League Baseball studio production.  Scanlon’s contributions included the development of the live cut-in during the NCAA College Basketball tournament.  Before joining ESPN, Scanlon worked at ABC Sports and News under Roone Arledge.