Under the helm of a new Lifestyle networks group following the Discovery/Scripps merger, Lee’s been able to explore crossover programming with TLC and HGTV, creating such hits as HGTV’s “Say Yes to the Nest,” a sister-network concept to TLC’s as TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress.” TLC had its best quarter in 16 years during 1Q19 among W25-54, becoming the No. 2 primetime ad-supported cable net in the demo. Lee values diversity—growing up, his mom didn’t speak any English and it was his job to translate for her—and considers Discovery’s diverse team a key reason for the company’s success. “We also encourage ideas from every level and job description, regardless if you’re in program development or finance,” he says.
What does your company/organization do to ensure all employees feel included?
At TLC, and at Discovery overall, we are committed to inclusion and to fostering a diverse team…diversity of backgrounds, experiences, ethnicities and opinions…and I think it’s a large part of the reason for our success. We also encourage ideas from every level and job description, regardless if you’re in program development or finance.
Can you share a successful diversity program at your company or one you’ve observed at another company or organization?
We are fortunate to have several thriving employee resource groups at Discovery, where people can come together and share ideas or make connections – for example, for our early careerists, we have GenD; for LGBT+ employees, there’s Discovery priDe; for different cultural groups, we have the Asian Cultural Alliance, unidaD and so many more.
Which current television show/s best embrace diversity?
We’re immensely proud at TLC of our commitment to diversity across our air, and our team. 90 Day Fiancé is among our most diverse shows, shining a light on cultures, customs and countries that some of our viewers may have never see. We’re also deeply proud of transgender teen Jazz Jennings and her family on I Am Jazz, Whitney Thore of My Big Fat Fabulous Life, to name just a few.