Discovery poaches digital boss from DirecTV

Discovery Communications has hired Karen Leever as its new executive VP, digital media.

She joins the non-fiction channels giant from US pay TV platform DirecTV. At Discovery she will oversee Discovery’s digital operations including the Discovery Digital Networks portfolio and the Discovery VR virtual reality product. She will also take the lead on the design of Discovery apps and websites.

Leever will report to chief commercial officer Paul Guyardo, who said: “Digital is driving our industry in new and exciting ways, and Discovery is focused on delivering engaging content, smart innovation and growing audiences across platforms.”

He added: “Karen is one of the best in the digital space and her diverse and impressive expertise will be invaluable to Discovery as we grow our digital brands and businesses.”

Leever held various roles at DirecTV, most recently serving as senior VP, digital and direct sales. Prior to DirecTV, Leever was at companies including HSN and QVC.

She will be based in Discovery’s New York office and said: “Discovery has built a robust portfolio of brands and networks for the mobile generation. I am very excited to work with my new colleagues to reach wider audiences, continue to develop new partnerships and drive innovative content and digital experiences.”

In international recruitment news at Discovery, Discovery Networks International has given Darcy Tomlin a new role, as vice president programming and operations.

She will report to Rosemary Newell, senior VP of international programming and operations, and in her new role within Discovery’s International Content Group, she will be a key leader in managing the thousands of hours of shared content from the US portfolio of networks, as well as working across programming teams in the US and its more than 220 countries and territories.

Tomlin will be based in Discovery’s global headquarters in Maryland and manage partnerships between DNI and the US channels. She will have day-to-day operational oversight of programming investment.

“Darcy is perfectly poised to be a strategic and creative partner for our regional programming executives imbedded in-market and our US colleagues,” said Newell.