David Royle, Smithsonian Networks’ Head of Programming and Production, to Depart ViacomCBS

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Courtesy of ViacomCBS

Founding member of the Smithsonian Channel and executive vice president of programming and production David Royle is departing the ViacomCBS-owned company in the new year.

Royle, who led the network’s team for 14 years, is “leaving to pursue new ventures,” according to a source familiar with the matter. He created and commissioned franchises including “Aerial America,” “America in Color,” “Cher’s Elephant Airlift,” as well as a number of programs commemorating Black history, including “Green Book: Guide to Freedom.” He also initiated the “living history” format with “Ultimate Viking.”

During Royle’s tenure, the Smithsonian Channel earned six Emmys, 31 Emmy nominations, Television Academy honors, a BAFTA and Peabody.

Deadline first reported news of his exit.

The move comes amid a broader restructuring at ViacomCBS and months after Smithsonian Network Tom Hayden left his post at the end of May. Smithsonian was one of the entities that experienced layoffs earlier in the year as Viacom and CBS continue to streamline operations after the merger. James F. Blue III was named the head of Smithsonian Channel at MTV Entertainment on Friday.