NEW YORK — Jay Feldman, exec VP and general manager of Discovery Network’s Travel Channel, has ankled the company to pursue new-media opportunities.
Feldman, who joined the company in January 1998, has been responsible for overseeing all programming, management, business development and operations for the cabler. During his tenure at Travel, the cable net has experienced tremendous growth: It has been the fastest-growing ad-supported, basic cable network for the past 16 months, gaining nearly 12 million subscribers in 1999 alone.
“I loved my time at the Travel Channel, but the call of the Internet was just too strong,” Feldman said. “I want to get in on the beginning before the beginning is over.”
Discovery will be undergoing an exec search to replace Feldman, but in the interim period, Mark Kozaki, VP of operations at Discovery Networks, will oversee Travel. But Feldman will no doubt be difficult to replace.
“He has taken Travel Channel to its highest ratings ever and has positioned the network for extraordinary growth across all business lines,” said Johnathan Rodgers, president of Discovery Networks, U.S., who has worked on and off with Feldman for the past 25 years.
Feldman, who was the youngest news director and the youngest general manager in the history of CBS-owned TV stations, dramatically increased profits at three different network TV stations during the 1980s, including WCAU-TV in Philadelphia. Feldman later worked as an independent producers’ rep.