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DNI’s Ravn exits amid restructure

Discovery Networks International (DNI) is reorganising its operations in Europe, with Nordic president Henrik Ravn exiting the company to be replaced by Dee Forbes.

Dee Forbes

Dee Forbes

Forbes, currently president and MD of Discovery Networks Western Europe, will now lead the company’s operations in UK and Ireland, Nordics and Benelux as president and MD of Discovery Networks Northern Europe.

She is taking over the Nordics from Ravn, previously president and CEO of Discovery Nordic and SBS Discovery Media, who is stepping down at the end of the year.

In that role, Ravn oversaw Discovery’s deal for the SBS broadcasting channels acquired from Germany’s ProSiebenSat.1 for US$1.7bn in 2012.

His exit forms part of a wider reorganisation that will see DNI’s operations in Europe split into three business clusters.

The Discovery Networks Northern Europe group, led by Forbes, will further combine the SBS business with Discovery’s core channels.

Discovery Networks Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEEMEA) will be led by Kasia Kieli who will add responsibility for the business in Germany, Austria and Switzerland to her current role as MD of Discovery Networks CEEMEA.

Discovery’s free-to-air DMax and TLC channels in Germany have recently been joined by Eurosport following DNI’s buyout of the sportcaster, which was concluded in January.

Finally, Discovery Networks Southern Europe will be run by Marinella Soldi as president and MD, adding France to her current oversight of Italy, Spain and Portugal. France has grown in strategic importance to Discovery since the deal to buy Eurosport, and a stake in several other DTT channels, from local broadcaster TF1.

In a statement, Discovery said “establishing Munich as an important regional hub for the CEEMEA business will bring additional expertise of running free-to-air networks in markets with significant scale and opportunity to the region.”

DNI is now comprised of five major regional operational centres: Northern Europe, Southern Europe, CEEMEA, Latin America/US Hispanic and Asia Pacific.

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