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Discovery buys remainder of Europe stake

Discovery Communications Inc. has bought out stakes held by a division of Tele-Communications Inc. in the Discovery Channel Europe and the Learning Channel Europe for an undisclosed amount, the companies said yesterday.

In return, Discovery has hired that TCI division to manage the European operations of Discovery.

Under the terms of the deal, Discovery Communications will control 100% of TDC Europe, a London-based cable and satellite service offering eight hours of programming daily to viewers in the U.K., Ireland, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Holland, Norway and Sweden.

Before the deal, Discovery owned just 30% of Discovery Europe and none of the Learning Channel in the United Kingdom. It is acquiring the remaining 70% in Discovery Europe and 100% of the Learning Channel from United Artists Entertainment Programming, a unit of TCI. UAEP will continue to manage the program, satellite operations, distribution, marketing and sales of the two services.

Joyce Taylor, currently CEO of UAEP, will now report directly to Hendricks on all activities dealing with the two services. Taylor will report to Adam Singer, TCI’s VP of international, on all issues concerning UAEP.

Grey Moyer has been named executive VP of programming for Discovery Communications Inc. with responsibility for the creation and acquisition of the company’s programming domestically and internationally.

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