Exec VP exits Discovery Health

Net reached record ratings under Reid

Bob Reid has ankled his position as executive vice president-general manager of Discovery Health Channel.

Reed led the net, which launched in 1998, for more than two years. He exits in mid-February.

Under his leadership, Discovery Health reached record ratings last year, up 32% in primetime among viewers 18-49. The channel also experienced significant carriage growth since Reid took the helm and is now available in more than 50 million homes.

His successes include the live 10-hour event “Birth Day Live,” the nationwide “Body Challenge” franchise and strategic partnering with leading non-profits the American Diabetes Assn., the American Cancer Society and the American Psychological Assn. It’s possible he will work on other projects at Discovery Networks.

“The network’s brand strength and identity have been pretty well established for a channel that just passed 50 million homes, and I think that will be my legacy,” Reid said. “I’m feeling good about the possibility of going back into production and being able to work across all of the Discovery networks.”

Discovery Health programming VP Eileen O’Neill will run the cabler in the interim while Discovery Networks topper Billy Campbell scouts for a replacement. Campbell is also looking to place a new chief at Discovery-owned Animal Planet, which former topper Michael Cascio ankled last month (Daily Variety, Dec. 23).

The well-respected Reid joined Discovery Networks seven years ago, serving as production veep for Discovery Channel. During his five-year tenure, he managed more than 500 hours of programming, including “Discovery News,” “Vietnam POWs: Stories of Survival,” “Titanic Live” and “Twister Week.”

Emmy-winning producer previously held positions at documentary production shingle MediaWorks in Los Angeles. Reid also held bureau chief titles at Fox News, CBS News and NBC News.

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