×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Discovery Names EMEA and U.K. Leaders in International Reorganization

Discovery has reorganized a large chunk of its international business, with Kasia Kieli stepping up to take over its operations across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The restructuring sees Discovery bring several of its regional businesses together under a single EMEA banner for the first time, and comes as the company attempts to drive its traditional pay-TV business alongside free-to-air, digital, and direct-to-consumer operations.

James Gibbons has been named head of Discovery in the U.K., the company’s largest single market internationally. Reporting to Kieli, he also takes charge of its businesses in Australia and New Zealand.

Marinella Soldi becomes the company’s EMEA strategy  and content chief, as well as continuing to run Southern Europe as managing director. Mike Lang, who was overseeing the Nordics, will remain with Discovery and focus on digital.

“Kasia has demonstrated great vision and determination with unmatched expertise in managing what is probably one of the most complex and diverse regions in the world,” said J.B. Perrette, Discovery’s international president. “EMEA represents our largest region in terms of revenue as well as the focus of considerable investment in the past and big ambition for the future.”

Kieli has been with Discovery since 2000, and had been in charge of its Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa operations before landing the new overall EMEA role. She said: “After 17 years, my belief in Discovery is stronger than ever. It is an exhilarating time as we can now offer our fans so many new ways to engage with the content they love through multiple partnerships, platforms and devices.”

Gibbons fills the U.K. and Ireland role vacated by Susanna Dinnage, who recently became the first global boss of the Animal Planet channel and brand. A Discovery veteran, Gibbons has been with the company for 18 years in various roles, including president of Discovery Japan.

Dinnage’s content responsibilities, meanwhile, pass to Soldi. She becomes chief strategy officer for the EMEA region and will create a new product development unit in addition to the programming role and overseeing teams in Italy, Spain, France and Portugal.

The international business is a major revenue contributor for Discovery. In the nine months to end-September, international networks generated revenues of $2.3 billion compared with a haul of $2.5 billion for the U.S. networks. There has been friction however as Discovery pushes for higher carriage fees from operators.

Discovery acquired full control of Eurosport two years ago and won the European rights to the Summer and Winter Olympics. Its Olympic coverage starts with the PyeongChang Winter Games in 2018. It is also buying Scripps Networks Interactive in a rich $14.6 billion deal unveiled earlier this year.

More TV

  • Pete Davidson Sits Out Final 'Saturday

    Pete Davidson Sits Out Final 'Saturday Night Live' Sketches of 2018

    Just hours after “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson posted a message on social media that said he “really [didn’t] want to be on this Earth anymore,” he was absent from the final 2018 live sketches of the late-night sketch comedy show. But although Davidson did not take part in the sketches or appear [...]

  • Pete Davidson photographed by Peggy Sirota

    Pete Davidson Posts Unsettling Message, Deletes Instagram

    UPDATED: “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson posted a disturbing message Saturday morning stating he doesn’t “want to be on this earth anymore,” then deleted his Instagram account. In the post, Davidson wrote, “I’m doing my best to stay here for you but i actually don’t know how much longer i can last. all [...]

  • Disney Channel Fires 'Andi Mack' Actor

    Disney Channel Fires 'Andi Mack' Actor Arrested for Plotting Sex With Minor

    Disney Channel has severed ties with “Andi Mack” actor Stoney Westmoreland following his arrest for allegedly trying to arrange a sexual encounter with a 13-year-old. “Stoney Westmoreland, an actor working on the series ‘Andi Mack,’ was arrested in Salt Lake City today,” a Disney Channel spokesperson said in a statement Friday. “Given the nature of [...]

  • Russian Doll

    TV News Roundup: Natasha Lyonne's 'Russian Doll' Sets Netflix Premiere Date

    On Friday’s roundup, Netflix announces the premiere date for “Russian Doll” and Benedict Cumberbatch’s “Brexit” film has a premiere date on HBO FIRST LOOKS Showtime has released a new teaser for the upcoming comedy series, “Black Monday,” which will premiere Sunday, Jan. 20 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The series stars and is executive produced by Don [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content