Discovery Close to Choosing New President-CEO

But Randy Falco's Departure From NBC May Cloud Situation

By Published on .

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Discovery Communications is close to naming a new president-CEO to replace outgoing chief Judith McHale, with an announcement expected in early December. Two executives familiar with talks said David Zaslav's name has been raised in connection to the role, along with Billy Campbell, president Discovery Networks. Mr. Zaslav is currently president of NBC Universal cable and new-media distribution.
Discovery's effort to replace outgoing president-CEO Judith McHale may be impacted by the departure of Randy Falco as NBC Universal TV Group's president-chief operating officer.
Discovery's effort to replace outgoing president-CEO Judith McHale may be impacted by the departure of Randy Falco as NBC Universal TV Group's president-chief operating officer.

Discussions 'far along'
Whether Mr. Zaslav has interviewed for the position could not be determined, though one executive said discussions between Mr. Zaslav and Discovery were "far along."

Mr. Zaslav declined to comment. A Discovery spokeswoman also had no comment.

What might complicate things, however, is today's news that Randy Falco, NBC Universal TV Group's president-chief operating officer, left his post to become chairman-CEO of Time Warner's AOL.

Friends with Falco
That opening inside NBC Universal could take Mr. Zaslav's name out of the ring at Discovery. Mr. Zaslav currently reports to Mr. Falco and the two are known to be close. Mr. Zaslav is also said to be well-regarded by NBC Universal Chairman Bob Wright.

Mr. Zaslav oversees NBC's cable interests in A&E, the History Channel, the History Channel International, the Biography Channel, National Geographic International, the Sundance Channel and TiVo. He has also been responsible for NBC Universal's strategy and content-distribution deals over a variety of platforms.

Mr. Falco could not be reached for comment about his move to AOL. An NBC spokeswoman had no comment, and Time Warner reps also had no comment.
In this article:
Most Popular