Marjorie Kaplan, Rich Ross & Henry Schleiff
Title: Group President, TLC, Animal Planet and Velocity
Years in Cable: 18
Education: Brown University
Best Advice in 7 Words or Less: Sweetheart, women live a long time (from my wonderful mother).
Title: President, Discovery Channel
Years in Cable: 24
Education: BA, University of Pennsylvania; JD, Fordham University
Best Advice in 7 Words or Less: Stick to your knitting.
Title: Group President, Investigation Discovery, American Heroes Channel, Destination America,
Discovery Family Channel and Discovery Life Channel
Years in Cable: Since the beginning (30+ years)
Education: BA (cum laude), University of Pennsylvania; JD, University of Pennsylvania School of Law
Best Advice in 7 Words or Less: A man plans/God laughs.
Key to Discovery Comm’s success are the top-tier execs running its portfolio of networks. In January, Ross took the reins at the flagship Discovery Channel. Within 72 hours, he instituted a bold strategy designed to refocus the network and bring family programming to the forefront. He has big plans, and David Zaslav has the faith he’ll deliver. Upon taking over leadership of TLC in February 2014, Kaplan led the network to achieve its highest ratings in 2Q prime in more than a decade. She launched a new tagline and brand campaign: “Everyone needs a little TLC.” Meanwhile, Animal Planet finished its third consecutive year as a top 20 net for men 25-54 and Velocity achieved 29 straight months of year-over-year growth in prime for key demos. Schleiff had two networks added to his purview in the last year, Discovery Family Channel (formerly Hub Network) and Discovery Life (Discovery Fit & Health). Add in American Heroes (which transitioned from Military Channel), and that’s three brand transitions in 12 months for Schleiff, whose accomplishments include a top 10-network designation for Investigation Discovery and securing Impact Wrestling for Destination America. Perhaps what bodes best for this trio is the enthusiasm and passion they spark within their teams.
I watch most programming on this device: TV and iPad—it’s a tie.
If I had a show on YouTube it would be called… “How to Sleep Standing Up”
Apple iWatch or Rolex? Neither, I can rely on my iPhone.
Favorite vacation spot: Tuscany and Amagansett. Another tie.
Favorite TV show as a kid: The old black and white eps of “Superman.” Sometimes I still watch them online.
My favorite business/motivational book: H is for Hawk—not for business but maybe for motivation.
I watch most programming on this device: My phone
Apple iWatch or Rolex? Rolex
Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat? Facebook
If Disney hired me to reboot “Star Wars” I would… make headlines…again.
Favorite vacation spot: Jose Ignacio, Uruguay
Favorite TV show as a kid: “Lost In Space”
Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat?
Favorite Cable Show memory: Trying to get Sumner Redstone out of his villa by throwing pebbles across the gate at the glass wall—which, unfortunately, set off the sprinkler system after he joined us, flooding his villa as we later discovered. I don’t think he ever knew who did it—until, perhaps, now.
Favorite vacation spot: Silver Spring, MD.
The last time I had a good laugh was… today and every day: If you aren’t surrounded by people who make you laugh, then come work with us!
My favorite newfound hobby: Bad golf (favorite old hobby was good golf).
My favorite business/motivational book: William Goldman’s Adventures in the Screen Trade… to paraphrase his quintessential quote “No one knows anything about this business.”