Marc Etkind is moving from Destination America to Science Channel, taking on the role of General Manager. He will report to Rich Ross, Group President of Discovery, Animal Planet and Science Channel, and oversee all aspects of programming, production, development, marketing, brand strategy and day-to-day operations for the network. Etkind will continue to be based in New York.
He’s replacing 18-year Discovery veteran, Rita Mullin who in spring 2014 had moved up from her role as EVP Programming and Development at OWN to General Manager of Science Channel.
The change is not a surprise; in August, Discovery unveiled a major realignment in which Ross was named Group President, picking up Animal Planet and Science Channel. Back then – last month – the company said Mullin would continue to lead Science Channel, reporting to Ross. So would Animal Planet GM Rick Holzman, who had worked for Marjorie Kaplan, who had been given a new job one week earlier as President of Content for Discovery Networks International.
Like a lot of pay TV programmers, Discovery is struggling to impress investors following a period of declining ratings and underwhelming ad sales — and amid fears that many will be squeezed by cord cutting and skinny bundles, wrote Deadline’s David Lieberman. At the time of the realignment, its shares had lost about a third of their value over 12 months.
“Marc has a strong record of programming successes and a fascinating background in science,” Ross said in making the announcement this morning. “He has an instinct for what audiences want to watch and is well positioned to lead Science Channel.”
Replacing Etkind is Jane Latman, current SVP Development at Investigation Discovery, who will assume the position of General Manager for Destination America, in addition to her SVP duties. She will continue to report report to Henry Schleiff, Group President of Investigation Discovery, American Heroes Channel and Destination America.
As General Manager of Destination America, Etkind was responsible for the development and production of network content, logo and branding, marketing and digital assets and launched brand defining content that included BBQ Pitmasters, Railroad Alaska, United States Of Bacon and the Buying franchise, including Buying Hawaii.
Earlier, Etkind was VP Development at Animal Planet. Before joining Discovery, Etkind was with History, where he developed key programming such as The Man Who Predicted 9/11 and the award-winning documentary Ape To Man.
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