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Discovery completes Scripps deal

Discovery Communications has completed its US$14.6bn acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive (SNI), ditching the latter’s name as the company is rolled into the factual giant.

David Zaslav

The combined firm, to be officially known as Discovery Inc, will become “a differentiated kind of media company with the most trusted portfolio of family-friendly brands around the globe,” according to David Zaslav, Discovery’s president and CEO.

Zaslav unveiled Discovery’s new management structure last week, with Kathleen Finch overseeing 12 networks and Rich Ross leaving the company.

The deal to buy US cablenet operator SNI was approved by US regulators earlier in the month, and Zaslav said Discovery would be a “new global leader in real-life entertainment.”

He added that it would “serve loyal and passionate audiences around the world with content that inspires, informs and entertains across every screen.”

Discovery said the name change demonstrated “a new focus on growth in the areas at which Discovery excels, telling stories across deeply loved genres and empowering superfans to explore their world wherever and whenever they choose.”

Kenneth W Lowe, former chairman, president and CEO of SNI, has joined Discovery’s board of directors.

Discovery announced its intention to buy Scripps last year, taking over its channel brands such as HGTV, Food Network, Travel Channel, DIY and Polish network TVN.

Discovery also gets Asian Food Channel, a pan-regional food network in Asia; lifestyle channel Fine Living Network; and Scripps’ 50% stake in UK-based cabsat channel operator UKTV, a joint venture with BBC Worldwide.

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