Discovery Hires DirecTV’s Karen Leever as Head of Digital Media

Karen Leever, previously head of digital and direct sales at DirecTV, has joined Discovery Communications as executive VP and GM of digital media.

Leever replaces Sean Atkins, who was named president of MTV last month. She reports to newly appointed Discovery chief commercial officer Paul Guyardo, who recently exited as DirecTV’s sales and marketing boss following the satcaster’s takeover by AT&T. Leever will be based in Discovery’s New York office.

At Discovery, Leever will oversee the company’s digital brands and businesses in the U.S., spanning the Discovery Digital Networks portfolio and the recently launched Discovery VR virtual-reality product. She also will lead strategy, design and development for all Discovery apps and is responsible for design and development of network websites.

“I know from experience that Karen is one of the best in the digital space and her diverse and impressive expertise will be invaluable to Discovery as we grow our digital brands and businesses even further,” Guyardo said in announcing her hire.

Leever spent 10 years at DirecTV, most recently as senior VP of digital and direct sales. She also led the launch of the company’s TV Everywhere streaming service and NFLSundayTicket.tv, DirecTV’s first over-the-top video service.

Prior to DirecTV, Leever worked at Kmart, leading a relaunch of kmart.com as VP of e-commerce and marketing, and spent more than a decade at HSN and QVC overseeing web design, marketing, pricing and programming strategies.

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