×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Animal Planet Chief Susanna Dinnage Steps Down to Run English Premier League

One of Discovery’s top international executives, Animal Planet global chief Susanna Dinnage, is jumping ship to take the top job at the English Premier League.

The Premier League is England’s top soccer league and also hugely popular around the world. The TV rights are among the most lucrative in international sports.

Dinnage’s move is a surprise, coming not long after she was upped to become the first-ever global boss at Animal Planet. A successor has not been announced. Just last month, Dinnage told Variety about her plans for the Discovery-owned natural history channel.

She will now swap wildlife for soccer stadiums, beginning in early 2019. She replaces Richard Scudamore at the Premier League. He leaves at the end of 2018 after almost 20 years.

“We had a very strong field, but Susanna was the outstanding choice given her track record in managing complex businesses through transformation and digital disruption,” said Bruce Buck, chairman of Chelsea Football Club and the Premier League’s nominations committee.

“She is a leading figure in the broadcasting industry, a proven business executive and a great developer of people. She is ideally suited to the role and we are confident she will be able to take the Premier League on to new heights.”

JB Perrette, President and CEO of Discovery Networks International, said: “Susanna has been a terrific leader for Discovery over the last 10 years. She has a strong understanding of brands and running diverse media businesses both in the U.K. and more recently with Animal Planet globally.

“She has been a fantastic teammate for all of us at Discovery, and we are delighted that she has been given this unique and groundbreaking opportunity to lead one of the world’s preeminent sports organizations.”

Dinnage, who was upped from U.K. boss at Discovery when she took the Animal Planet role, will start at the Premier League at a yet-to-be-decided date in 2019. Her move from Discovery, ironically, comes as the U.S.-listed company gets more deeply into international sports. Having bought Eurosport it has landed European rights to the Olympics and is launching a golf streaming service with the PGA Tour.

“The Premier League means so much to so many people,” Dinnage said. “It represents the pinnacle of professional sport and the opportunity to lead such a dynamic and inspirational organisation is a great privilege. With the support of clubs and the team, I look forward to extending the success of the League for many years to come.”

More TV

  • Jussie Smollett Empire

    Chicago Police Want to Talk to Jussie Smollett as New Evidence Emerges

    Chicago police are seeking to re-interview “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, after new evidence emerged in his alleged assault. Smollett has claimed that two men attacked him at 2 a.m. on Jan. 29, yelled racial and homophobic slurs, poured bleach on him, and put a noose around his neck. The Chicago Police Department has consistently said [...]

  • Five Takes on Canal Plus, Federation’s

    Just Days Left to Catch Canal Plus’ ‘The Bureau’ on MyFFF

    The most lauded of titles on this year’s MyFrenchFilmFestival, UniFrance’s online showcase featured by over 50 OTT services around the world, may not be a film but a drama series. With four seasons aired, and a milestone in world sales on a French TV show, slow-boiling espionage series ‘Le Bureau des légendes’ (“The Bureau”) is [...]

  • Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith

    Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith Dies at 78

    Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith, the historian who spent 40 years cataloging and preserving the company’s legacy of entertainment and innovation, died Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 78. Smith served as Disney’s chief archivist from 1970 to 2010. He was named a Disney Legend in 2007 and served as a consultant to the [...]

  • TV Writer Christopher Knopf, Former WGA

    TV Writer Christopher Knopf, Former WGA West President, Dies at 91

    Prolific Emmy-nominated television writer Christopher Edwin Knopf, former president of the Writers Guild of America West, died in his sleep of congestive heart failure on Feb. 13. He was 91. Knopf was born in New York and attended UCLA, leaving during his senior year to join the Air Force during World War II. He finished [...]

  • Jussie Smollett The Black AIDS Insitute

    Jussie Smollett Case: Two Suspects Released Without Charges as New Evidence Emerges

    After two days of questioning, the Chicago Police Department announced Friday evening that it has released two suspects in the Jussie Smollett case without filing charges. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said that detectives had developed new information in the case. Police no longer consider the men to be suspects. “Due to new evidence as a [...]

  • GOTHAM: L-R: Guest star Cameron Monaghan

    TV News Roundup: Fox Drops 'Gotham' Final Season Trailer (Watch)

    In today’s TV news roundup, Fox released a new trailer for an upcoming episode of “Gotham” and Disney has announced the cast for its upcoming “High School Musical” series.  FIRST LOOKS Showtime released a new trailer and the official poster for the upcoming fourth season of “Billions,” premiering March 17 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. In [...]

  • Chris Rock

    Chris Rock to Direct Kenan Thompson Comedy Pilot at NBC

    Chris Rock has come onboard to direct the NBC single-cam comedy pilot “Saving Kenan,” Variety has learned. Rock will also executive produce the pilot, which stars “SNL” mainstay Kenan Thompson. Thompson will play a newly widowed dad determined to be everything for his kids while begrudgingly letting his persistent father-in-law become more involved in their lives [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content