Discovery Communications is bringing in veteran TV executive Marc Graboff as President, Global Business & Legal Affairs, Production Management and Studios. He starts in April and will be based at Discovery’s Los Angeles headquarters, reporting to Bruce Campbell, Chief Development and Digital Media Officer and General Counsel.
Graboff’s appointment comes on the heels of last month’s departure of Eileen O’Neill who was to segue to a new role running Discovery Studios as global group president. Graboff will take over those responsibilities as well as overseeing business and legal affairs, an area where he is considered one of the top executives in the business. Graboff will have day-to-day oversight of the acquisition, development and production of programming for all of Discovery’s networks and digital platforms globally as well as the company’s production assets, including betty and Raw, as well as All3Media, operated in joint venture with Liberty Global.
Discovery’s Lee Bartlett, EVP, Global Production Management, Business & Legal Affairs, will now report to Graboff. Bartlett has been promoted to President of the Studios Group and will serve both a creative and management role leading Discovery Studio. Bartlett also will have day-to-day management of betty and Raw and will serve as Discovery’s primary liaison for All3Media, as well as Chairman of the Board of All3Media for Discovery’s current term.
“One of Discovery’s great advantages is our long-term commitment to investing in world-class content and IP across all screens, and today we’ve added another key strategic advantage by having Marc Graboff join our leadership team,” said David Zaslav, President and CEO, Discovery Communications. “In addition to being one of the most fantastic executives and dealmakers in media, Marc is a universally admired and respected person… his business acumen and expertise matched only by the trust and relationships he has built across the industry.”
Graboff most recently was president of CORE Media Group. He joined soon after Apollo bought CKX in 2011 and helped transform it from a passive rights holding company with no ability to develop or produce television content and a music label dependent on two series, American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance, into a production company with 11 TV series in production. He stepped down last fall as CORE’s operations were being merged with Endemol and Shine’s as part of the proposed joint venture between 21st Century Fox and Apollo.
Before that, Graboff spent 15 years as a top-level executive at NBC Universal, most recently as President, West Coast Business Operations for NBC Universal Television Entertainment, and also held senior business affairs executive roles at CBS.