While COVID-19 brought unpredictable challenges, Regis and his team continued to work toward building strong advertising relationships for HGTV, ID, Animal Planet, DIY Network and, most notably, newbie Magnolia Network. Originally set to launch in October 2020, Magnolia had been sold to 50 advertisers at Discovery’s annual upfront. But COVID shut down production everywhere, making that launch impossible. He and his team jumped in and offered advertisers temporary alternatives, including ad slots on streamer discovery+ alongside Magnolia content. Speaking of his team, Regis has assembled one of the most diverse among cable programmers. Although he recognizes progress on DEI in the industry in the past year, he calls it “appropriate but not necessarily significant.” He explains, “Many conversations about what next steps need to happen in order to increase DEI have been happening across the industry. This is good news. Tracking the results of these conversations will be important over the next few years.”
Do you think there has been significant progress on DEI in the industry in the past year?
Appropriate but not necessarily significant progress has been made. Many conversations about what next steps need to happen in order to increase DE&I have been happening across the industry. This is good news. Tracking the results of these conversations will be important over the next few years.
How have you been a champion of diversity, equity, and inclusion?
I am spearheading an advertising initiative at Discovery that will allow our advertising partners to connect with diverse audiences across Discovery’s extensive portfolio of passion brands
What’s been the most dramatic change in your sector of the business today vs three years ago?
Most would probably say streaming but I would look at the ability of social platforms to create next gen media stars and the ability of advertisers to leverage these stars and platforms to market their products and services. In the same vein, I would also look at the explosive growth of gaming and its ability to create vast ecosystems of engaged users.
My best advice for fostering open, honest communication…
Be Open. Be Honest. Be Authentic.