Discovery confirmed Etkind’s departure, which comes after he moved into the role of general manager in September 2015 from Destination America. He was based out of New York. Deadline understands that Scott Lewers, who was promoted to EVP Multiplatform Programming and Digital Media in 2018, will now have more oversight of the network, which is run by Nancy Daniels, chief brand officer, Discovery and Factual.
Etkind helped deliver record ratings for the Science Channel on the back of shows including Mysteries of the Abandoned, Unearthed and How the Universe Works. During his tenure, he also revived BattleBots in 2018 and commissioned Mythbusters spinoff MythBusters Jr.
His departure marks the end of a 12-year career at Discovery. He joined from History in late 2007, starting out as VP Development at Animal Planet. Etkind switched to Destination America in 2011 and became general manager two years later before moving to the Science Channel.
Since 2018, Lewers has been responsible for Discovery’s content strategy and schedule, multiplatform live content, as well as the overall digital strategy for Discovery and Science Channel. He previously served as SVP Multiplatform Programming and Digital Media at TLC, where he developed its first digital original, 90 Day Fiancé: What Now?, on TLCGo and TLC’s Snapchat series Royal Wedding. Prior to TLC, he served as Discovery Channel’s SVP Programming, responsible for overseeing all aspects of program planning. He spearheaded shows including Shark Week and late-night talk show Shark After Dark.
It is the latest change at Discovery and comes six months after the departure of Animal Planet president Susanna Dinnage. Brit Dinnage left the company after 10 years, leading to a restructure that saw Animal Planet revert back to Daniels’ factual division, which oversees Discovery Channel and Science Channel, as well as the content strategy of Discovery’s upcoming factual streaming service.