Cheskin bids Travel Channel adieu

Exec: 'Do I want to be here the rest of my life?'

Steve Cheskin, who devised the granddaddy of all cable-network stunts, Discovery Channel’s high-rated annual “Shark Week,” has resigned as executive VP and general manager of the Travel Channel.

In an interview, Cheskin said that “I’d just reached by 44th birthday, I’d spent 18 years at the Discovery Networks and my contract at Travel Channel was up. I had to ask myself: Do I want to be here the rest of my life?” Travel Channel is a sister network of Discovery.

Travel Channel’s primetime ratings have fluctuated during the three years Cheskin has served as exec VP and G.M. In 2002, Travel fell off by double digits in total viewers and in the key demographic categories of people 18 to 49 and people 25 to 54. During the first quarter of 2003, Travel was basically flat from the same period a year ago.

Cheskin joined Discovery in March 1985 as senior coordinator of programming for the network. After nine years at Discovery, he shifted over to Discovery’s TLC as VP of programming for the next six years. He took over Travel Channel in May 2000.

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