Discovery Communications said it planned to move its global headquarters to New York City from Silver Spring, Md., by 2019, a reflection of the new footprint it will have once it completes an expected acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive later this year.
Discovery, which operates Discovery Network, TLC, ID and OWN, said it plans to assemble current and New York-based Scripps employees under a New York City headquarters sometime in the second half of 2019, while establishing an operational facility in Knoxville, Tenn., where Scripps is currently located.
“The media industry is rapidly evolving, increasingly global, more consumer focused and more multi-platform and Discovery must evolve with it,” said David Zaslav, Discovery’s President and CEO,in a note to employees. “The decision to move our global headquarters from its founding home is one we do not make lightly. We remain unwavering in our support of the Maryland and Greater Washington, DC area and we thank the leadership of the State of Maryland, Montgomery County and, most importantly, our employees for their cooperation and understanding as we make this important next step for the long-term success of Discovery.”
Discovery was founded in Landover, Maryland, in 1985, and moved its global headquarters to Bethesda, Maryland in 1991 and then to its current headquarters building in Silver Spring in 2003. The company employs approximately 1,300 people in the Silver Spring area. Scripps’ Knoxville headquarters houses more than 1,000. The sale and closure of Discovery’s Silver Spring building is expected approximately one year from closing the Scripps transaction.
The company intends to maintain hubs in both northern Virginia and Maryland. Decisions on individual job status and relocation also will be made after the close of the Scripps acquisition.