Cascio resigns as cabler hits highest ratings

Michael Cascio has resigned as exec VP-general manager of Animal Planet. He leaves the Discovery Networks-owned cabler at year’s end.

Cascio took over for Clark Bunting as head of Animal Planet more than two years ago, after Bunting hopped nets to take the helm of Discovery Channel.

“I’m proud of what we’ve done. The network is in good shape, and personally it’s just the right time. I’ve got some other stuff brewing professionally,” Cascio said. “The only downside is the people I’m leaving behind. I work with a great team, and I got to watch animal programming all day long — how bad can that be?”

No replacement has yet been announced.

Animal Planet’s ratings over the past several months have been among the highest in the channel’s history, fueled by new shows “King of the Jungle,” “Animal Cops” and “Animal Precinct.”

Before joining Animal Planet, Cascio served as VP of cable programming development for NBC News, where he created “MSNBC Investigates.” He also spent nine years at A&E, where he developed the network’s signature program “Biography,” as well as original dramas, performance specials and documentaries, including “Investigative Reports.”

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