Peter Liguori is leaving his job as Discovery Communications' chief operating officer and No. 2 executive at the end of this year, the company said today. Discovery plans to eliminate his post.
Mr. Liguori, a former Fox programming executive who helped oversee the launch of Discovery's Oprah Winfrey Network, has been at the company for two years. "I am particularly grateful to Pete for tackling some pretty challenging special assignments, including the launches of our joint venture networks -- The Hub, OWN and 3net," Discovery president and CEO David Zaslav said in a statement.
The company didn't give a reason for is departure in its announcement on Wednesday. A Discovery spokesman didn't immediately return messages seeking comment.
Liguori had previously been a News Corp. executive working for Fox Broadcasting Company and FX Networks, as well as a senior VP of marketing at HBO.
Standard and Poor's reiterated its "strong buy" stance on Discovery shares shortly after the announcement Wednesday, even while calling the news "abrupt" and Liguori a "well-regarded executive who we think was instrumental in the early gestation" of networks like OWN.