Senior VP promoted to head Military Channel

Discovery Communications has hired John Ford to become president and general manager of the Military Channel and Discovery Times Channel.

Ford is returning to Discovery after spending 13 years (1990-2003) at the company, serving in a variety of jobs, from senior VP and GM of TLC to president of Discovery Health Channel.

The National Geographic Channel lured Ford away from Discovery in 2003, naming him exec VP of programming. Ford resigned from Nat Geo seven months ago to set up his own production company, but said that David Zaslav, the CEO of Discovery Communications since January, “made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.”

Referring to Military Channel and Discovery Times, Ford said, “I’m taking charge of some beachfront property.”

Military reaches 48.5 million homes and Discovery Times harvests 47.9 million. Both are fast-growing: In the last year, Military added 7.2 million customers and Discovery Times 7 million, according to Nielsen.

Ford succeeds Clint Stinchcomb, who’ll continue to have responsibility for Discovery’s high-definition strategy, including its HD Theater, as well as the multiplatform, multimedia platform Turbo Media.

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