Discovery prez to exit

Exec wants to do more startups

NEW YORK — Johnathan Rodgers, president of Discovery Networks U.S. for the last six years, will resign when his contract expires next month.

At Discovery, he has presided over the creation of Animal Planet and Discovery Health, the purchase of Travel Channel and the launch of six digital multiplex channels.

In a conference call with reporters, Rodgers, 55, said the parting is amicable, driven by his desire to join a company that would allow him to do more startups.

Other Rodgers initiatives at Discovery included the company’s buyout of NBC’s Saturday morning schedule for a programming block called Discovery Kids and the formation of digital-animation company Meteor Studios.

Before Discovery, Rodgers spent his career at CBS TV, rising through the ranks as a station exec to become head of the entire CBS station group.

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