Graboff marks the latest notable TV exec to join Discovery, following the appointment of Rich Ross as president of the flagship Discovery Channel in January.
Graboff’s new role will have him overseeing the Discovery group’s worldwide business and legal affairs, in addition to running its growing studio operation and its investment in production group All3media. He will be based in Los Angeles and report to Bruce Campbell, chief development and digital media officer and general counsel.
“In addition to being one of the most fantastic executives and dealmakers in media, Marc is a universally admired and respected person,” said Discovery CEO David Zaslav. “His business acumen and expertise are matched only by the trust and relationships he has built across the industry. Bruce and I look forward to Marc’s leadership to help grow our market share by accelerating our current production engines, acquiring more IP across new genres and formats, and bringing more of the world’s top production partners to Discovery.”
Graboff comes to Discovery after spending the past three years as president of Core Media Group, where he built up the company’s production assets. Core recently morphed into Endemol Shine Group as part of the merger orchestrated by 21st Century Fox and Apollo Global Management, which left no role for Graboff.
Before that, Graboff had an 11-year run as a senior exec at NBC Entertainment, rising to the co-chairman post. He exited on the heels of Comcast’s acquisition of NBCUniversal in 2011.
“Discovery Communications is on the leading edge of shaping the content strategies for an increasingly global television industry,” said Graboff. “I am thrilled to join David, Bruce and the rest of Discovery’s first-class management team to help maintain and grow Discovery’s position as the world’s number one pay-TV programmer.”
On the studio side, Graboff will take over the duties that were to be assumed by Eileen O’Neill, the Discovery veteran who abruptly announced her resignation last month. Lee Bartlett, who was previously exec VP of global production management, business & legal affairs, has been promoted to the new role of president of Discovery’s Studios Group, reporting to Graboff.