The International Content Group, currently led by Marjorie Kaplan, will become part of the UK/Ireland business, under the leadership of Susanna Dinnage.
Kaplan, president of International Content, moved to London a year ago to partner with Perrette in reviewing the strategy for international content investment and strengthen relationships with the creative community and the global content pipeline. In her role, she helped to determine that the international content group should work directly with the UK business.
Dinnage has been promoted to president and MD, Discovery Networks UK/Ireland, with her responsibilities expanding to include content creation for the international business. In her new role, she will not only develop new genres and formats for UK audiences with an eye toward global appeal, but also she will work with international teams to source the best ideas and stories that can travel to other markets and worldwide.
Dinnage has spent more than 20 years working in the television industry, beginning her career at MTV and then part of the launch team behind Channel 5. She began her tenure at Discovery seven years ago, working in a number of roles with progressive responsibilities, including General Manager of the UK and Benelux businesses. Under her leadership, the UK business has doubled in revenue and overseen the launched of several channels, including global brand TLC. Under her creative leadership, Discovery talent and noted adventurer Ed Stafford has become an internationally recognised personality after his UK debut, and the launch of UK’s version of the globally popular franchise, Say Yes to the Dress, has become TLC UK’s biggest hit in 2016.
JB Perrette said: “Susanna is a great creative and commercial leader. She has successfully grown the UK business over the last seven years and has been instrumental in building our brands and channels in our biggest market outside the US. Redeploying resources to the UK team, as well as bolstering the innovative work done by Discovery’s local creative teams worldwide, will ensure a healthy pipeline of content for the company’s loved brands around the world.”
“Marjorie is an incredible business leader, widely admired both internally and externally, having transformed multiple businesses at the company and with long-running hit series on virtually all our channels, to her credit. I know she is excited to seek out an entirely new challenge, but her legacy will remain and she will be missed,” said Perrette.
Dinnage said: “Aligning our London-based content creation business with the UK business really underscores our creative and financial commitment to the UK production community. Discovery is a great company with fantastic brands and channels and a lot of amazing creative talent. I am really looking forward to harnessing our own talent and ideas with the innovative production sector in the UK to develop new ideas, talent, genres, formats and funding models that resonate both with UK audiences and across the globe.
Kaplan said: “I believe strongly in the power of global content and universal human stories. Discovery’s international business must prioritise local relevance to best serve international audiences and drive growth, and further leverage its incredibly creative talent around the world. As a result, the current central structure doesn’t make sense for the company or for me. Although this is a bittersweet decision for me, I expect it to also be the start of new adventures as exciting as those I have undertaken while at Discovery.”