President, Domestic Distribution
Eric Phillips had some big shoes to fill when Discovery veteran Bill Goodwyn added international and other expanded duties to his plate while putting Phillips in charge of the day-to-day domestic distribution at the programming giant. That includes Discovery’s domestic portfolio of 13 networks as well as two wholly-owned networks in Canada. And Phillips also runs the business unit’s budgetary, legal and finance compliance efforts. It’s a lot to manage, but this sales exec’s calm demeanor and enviable industry knowledge has helped save the day more than once during tough negotiations that now seem more the norm than the exception in the current TV environment. Phillips also deserves considerable credit for his previous work as EVP/COO of Discovery Education where he led sales, strategic business development, budget and divisional operations, forging relationships with schools across North America and distributing Discovery’s products in support of teaching and learning. As a result of his leadership and his team’s efforts, Discovery Education is now available in over half of all U.S. schools, community colleges and in 50 countries around the world. Interestingly, Phillips found an unusual path toward sales, having practiced corporate law at Covington & Burling before joining Discovery in 2002. He now lives in Bethesda, Md., with his wife, Linnae, and young daughter, Maia.