Discovery extends Zaslav contract

Discovery Communications has extended the contract of president and CEO David Zaslav to the end of the decade.

Zaslav’s new deal lasts until December 31, 2019 and makes him a “significant long-term shareholder”, according to the pay TV channel operator. Zaslav has committed to retaining a majority of that stock across the term of his new contract, the company added.

The executive joined Discovery in January 2007 and took it fully public a year later.

Revenue and profit – especially in the company’s growing international channels business – have grown significantly since then, and last year the firm completed its largest ever acquisition by buying SBS Nordics for around US$1.7 billion. It also bought into Eurosport and has an option to take control of the sports channel.

Discovery director and chairman of Liberty Media and Liberty Global John Malone said: “David has done a superb job. He built a strong management team that has expanded the company’s reach and relevance, increased its market share domestically and around the world, and created a bigger, stronger portfolio of brands. We look forward to working with David to do more of the same over the next six years.”

Zaslav added:  “It has been an amazing and successful seven years, and I am excited to have the opportunity to lead this great company for the rest of the decade.  With the most creative and dynamic leadership team in the business, a talented and committed workforce, a strong financial position, and an unmatched global platform, I am extraordinarily confident of Discovery’s growth prospects for the years ahead.”

Discovery is currently lining up a new international boss ahead of Mark Hollinger’s departure from the company later this year.