Ex-ITV exec returns to States with Discovery

Former ITV managing director Lee Bartlett is back on this side of the pond, where he has joined Discovery Communications as its business affairs chief.

New job reunites Bartlett with Discovery chief operating officer Peter Liguori. Before heading to London for the ITV job, Bartlett headed up business affairs at Fox under Liguori — and before that at Fox Networks Group, where he worked with Liguori at FX and other outlets.

Bartlett has been named exec VP, global production management, business and legal affairs at Discovery. He’ll be in charge of Discovery’s business affairs and production management and be based in Los Angeles (with an office in Discovery’s Silver Spring, Md. headquarters).

“Having known and worked with Lee for many years, I can attest firsthand to his expertise and skill in managing and negotiating high-level production and content acquisition deals,” Liguori said.

Bartlett’s day-to-day oversight will include programming acquisitions for all Discovery networks, as well as content deals, intellectual property and licensing. Bartlett replaces Clara Kim, who had served as exec VP of business affairs since 2007.

Bartlett’s departure from ITV was announced earlier this month as part of a shakeup at the U.K. broadcaster. He’s set to officially depart ITV next month; he’ll then officially start at Discovery on Sept. 1.

Bartlett’s domestic and international business affairs experience should come in handy at Discovery, which continues to keep its eye on both growing its U.S. networks and expanding its global presence.

At ITV, Bartlett oversaw the broadcaster’s U.K. and international production and distribution, including ITV Studios. He first joined ITV Global Content as chief operating officer in April 2008.

Before that, Bartlett was exec VP of business affairs at Fox, negotiating business deals for network entertainment fare such as “American Idol.”

At Fox Networks Group, Bartlett was exec VP of business and legal affairs, negotiating deals for FX’s “The Shield,” “Nip/Tuck,” “Rescue Me” and “Damages,” and helping launch cable nets such as National Geographic Channel.

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