Another Fox division headed to Disney, the National Geographic networks, has solidified its leadership ahead of the pending merger. Courteney Monroe has re-upped as President, National Geographic Global Networks and handed expanded roles to Geoff Daniels and Carolyn Bernstein. Daniels has been named EVP, Global Unscripted Entertainment for National Geographic Channels, assuming the role he had been serving in on an interim basis since May. Bernstein becomes EVP, Global Scripted Content & Documentary Films, adding oversight of feature documentaries released under the National Geographic Documentary Films banner.
Monroe will continue to report to Gary Knell, Chairman of National Geographic Partners, and work closely with Peter Rice, currently President of 21st Century Fox and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fox Networks Group. Knell and Rice are among the top 21st Century Fox executives who were announced earlier this month as transitioning to the combined Disney-Fox TV operation post-merger. The announcement also included Fox TV Group chairman and CEO Dana Walden, FX Networks CEO John Landgraf as well as the leadership of 20th Century Fox and Fox 21 TV Studios.
Monroe, who has been well respected within 21st Century Fox and was reportedly approached to take over the New Fox broadcast network this past summer, will continue to oversee global programming, operations and marketing for the portfolio of National Geographic channels around the world and will also oversee NG Studios, the company’s in-house production unit, as well as the recently established National Geographic Documentary Films banner.
“We’re very excited to build on Courteney’s successful strategy, which has resulted in year-over-year growth, generated unprecedented critical acclaim and significantly raised the profile of National Geographic,” said Knell. “I have no doubt that Courteney will continue to drive growth and success for our brand around the world.”
Added Rice, “Courteney has done an exceptional job leading National Geographic Global Networks through a strategic transformation that has unlocked a new level of critical and commercial success for this beloved brand. I am pleased she’ll continue to play such an important role in positioning National Geographic for future success.”
The contract extensions for Monroe and her top lieutenants come after Nat Geo and Nat Geo Wild scored a record 18 Emmy nominations and box-office success for feature doc Free Solo.
“It has been the opportunity of a lifetime to lead the transformation of the National Geographic television business. I’m incredibly grateful to Peter and Gary for their ongoing support and leadership and I look forward to taking our brand and business to even greater heights as part of Disney’s expanded media portfolio,” said Monroe.
As EVP, Global Unscripted Entertainment, Daniels will oversee all development and production for unscripted programming for both National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo Wild. Daniels will continue to report to Monroe and is based in National Geographic’s Washington, D.C., headquarters. He was previously EVP and General Manager of Nat Geo Wild and Kids Media.
Bernstein will continue to oversee the network’s push into premium scripted content building on series including forthcoming drama Valley of the Boom.
“I’m extremely fortunate to work with such talented executives as Geoff and Carolyn. The combination of Geoff’s outstanding strategic and creative leaderships skills, along with his wealth of experience in factual entertainment, make him the perfect person to lead our unscripted business. And with Carolyn’s proven track record in developing premium scripted projects, I’m looking forward to elevating our National Geographic Documentary Films banner even further,” said Monroe.