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Discovery draws U.K. vet for TLC

Abraham named net's general manager

Discovery Networks has named David Abraham general manager of TLC.

He succeeds Roger Marmet, who exited the network last month (Daily Variety, Jan. 28).

Abraham has been overseeing Discovery’s nine U.K. channels, serving as exec VP-general manager of Discovery Networks Europe for the past four years. He helped establish Discovery lifestyle net Home & Leisure in the U.K. as well as Discovery Health, both destinations for young affluent women.

For TLC, he will spearhead all programming, production, development and operations.

Exec has his work cut out for him: TLC is struggling to reverse a 24% drop in viewership from last year. Ratings for hit makeover skein “Trading Spaces” began to tailspin after TLC pumped too many airings into its weekly sked and other nets bowed competing makeover shows. Result was a decline of the entire network.

Discovery has been working to reverse the trend, moving over Discovery Channel development veep Sean Gallagher to TLC early last month. “Trading Spaces” is also undergoing a revamp, nixing the hosts and going a more aspirational route — perhaps inspired by ABC’s ratings winner “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”

Before joining Discovery, Abraham spent 17 years in advertising..

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