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June 21, 2020 |

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Discovery’s streaming chief Peter Faricy resigns with trio taking up remit

Peter Faricy

Discovery’s CEO of direct-to-consumer business Peter Faricy has resigned, with the factual giant appointing three execs to take up his remit.

Faricy, who will leave the company on 15 July, is to be replaced by chief technology officer for direct-to-consumer Avi Saxena, president of US digital & product marketing Karen Leever, and group SVP of content & commercial strategy for direct-to-consumer, Lisa Holme.

Discovery CEO David Zaslav sent a memo to employees, saying that Faricy’s decision is motivated by a desire to spend more time with his family. He wrote that the exec had “decided that now is the right time to leave Discovery,” and thanked him for his “personal sacrifices over the last two years.”

Faricy’s departure comes three months after Discovery CEO David Zaslav admitted that his company was looking at the possibility of aggregating its content assets into a single OTT streaming service.

Zaslav said Discovery’s management was continuing to “evaluate the possibility of offering an aggregated platform of all of our channels, brands and personalities, quite possibly with the help of any number of distribution partners in the US and around the world” as an alternative to developing “superfan silos” based around specific interest areas, but had yet to take a decision.

Faricy joined the company in 2018 from Amazon. Over the past two years, the exec oversaw Discovery’s streaming products including Discovery GO TV Everywhere products, as well as Motor Trend, Eurosport Player, Discovery Kids and Dplay.

Trio take up remit

With Faricy gone, former Hulu exec Holme will head up Discovery’s content and programming strategies around its aggregated apps and its partnership strategy. She only joined Discovery in February and is based in LA, with a remit that covers commissioning and acquiring content for Discovery’s streaming offering.

Saxena will add Food Network Kitchen and Magnolia to her list of responsibilities while Leever will be handed Discovery’s app strategy in the US and UK.

Finally, Dplay and Discovery’s DTC sports products will now sit under Discovery International CEO JB Perrette.

The changes follow 18 months of change at Discovery, which has been expanding its streaming offerings rapidly – most notably striking a mega deal for BBC Studios’ natural history content that will be used for a global streamer set to launch later this year.

It is behind US service Food Network Kitchen, has partnered with ProSieben to launch Joyn in Germany, unveiled plans to create a streaming platform with pay-TV operator Cyfrowy Polsat and revealed the launch of a streamer in India, as revealed by TBI.

Last year, Zaslav said Discovery’s focus on factual content and sports would differentiate it from globally dominant rivals such as Netflix.

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