Taking up a newly created and key post in the international TV business, producer and network executive Phil Craig has been tapped as EVP and chief creative officer for Discovery Networks Intl.
Reporting to DNI prexy J.B. Perrette, and taking up his position Feb. 2015, Craig will lead DNI’s Production and Development team. Established in 2011, and based out of five locations – Silver Spring, New York, Miami, London and Singapore – the group is tasked with supplying global hit series and other content specifically for Discovery’s international networks, TV distribution outlets spanning 220 countries.
Working with 70 producers in the U.K. alone and many more abroad, the Development and Production group produces over 160 hours of content a year.
Craig segues to DNI from ABC TV in Australia where, Sydney-based, he served as head of factual from 2012. His appointment comes as Discovery Communications’ international revenues now exceed those in the U.S., and Discovery’s international network portfolio has just delivered a third straight record quarter in viewership, Perrette said.
Based out of London, Craig will develop factual and lifestyle content primarily for flagship global networks Discovery Channel and TLC. He will also work with his U.S. counterparts on content sharing and development, and drive regional and local content production. He will work side by side with Rosemary Newell, DNI’s SVP programming and content operations, who has led the Production and Development group in the interim phase while the search for a chief creative officer was conducted.
The Production and Development group, which has produced more than 160 hours of original content each year, is responsible for “Marooned With Ed Stafford,” “Manhunt,” “The Unexplained Files,” and several series starring Bear Grylls, including “Escape From Hell” and the upcoming “Breaking Point.” In addition, the group has developed “Wheeler Dealers” for Velocity channel in the U.S., as well as “You Have Been Warned,” known as “Outrageous Acts of Science” in the U.S., where it is Science channel’s top-rated show.
During Craig’s time at ABC TV, he led a team that was responsible for more than 150 hours of original content. Craig drove a number of high-profile initiatives, including “Redesign My Brain,” which now airs on Science channel as “Hack My Brain”; and Lance Armstrong documentary “Stop at Nothing,” which aired as part of the BBC Storyville documentary strand and in numerous other territories.
Craig’s recent commission about mental illness, “Changing Minds,” was described by the Sydney Morning Herald as “surely one of the most important programs in Australian television history.”
Prior to his role at ABC TV, Craig worked for U.K. producer Nutopia, where he took charge of the Discovery landmark series “How We Invented the World,” and was originating producer on series “The 80s,” “The Decade That Made Us” and “How We Got To Now.”