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Discovery Channel create NY production unit

Rich Ross’s latest major move since becoming Discovery Channel president is to set up a production and development unit in New York.

Rich-Ross-NEW_400Discovery Channel VPs of development and production Matthew Kelly and Michael Sorenson will relocate from Discovery Communications’ Silver Springs, Maryland base as part of the move.

Kelly developed series such as Gold Rush and Edge of Alaska, while Sorenson has developed and produced Shark Week and Nick Wallenda specials.

They report to Discovery Channel’s executive VP, production and development Denise Contis.

The move comes soon after new Discovery Channel chief Ross appointed former HBO executive John Hoffman as EVP, documentaries and specials, another New York-based role.

“As Discovery Channel creates and delivers more programming to more viewers across all platforms, having a robust development and production team in New York is a crucial and necessary move,” said Ross.

The news comes after Ross’s opening communications with journalists and analysts at Discovery’s TCA this month were extremely well received.

Former Shine Americas boss Ross, who began at Discovery this month, said he planned to ditch sensationalist programming such as Eaten Alive and move back to traditional documentary and scripted series.