Peter Liguori to exit Discovery Communications

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Discovery Communications Chief Operating Officer Peter Liguori is stepping down at the end of the year, the cable programming giant said in a regulatory filing.

The departure of Liguori, who joined Discovery about two years ago, was not unexpected. Initially based in Discovery’s suburban Washington, D.C., headquarters, as of late he spent most of his time in Los Angeles. Unlike his previous positions at News Corp.'s FX and Fox Broadcasting, where he was intimately involved in programming and marketing strategy, his role at Discovery was more administrative than creative.

Discovery said it would not replace Liguori and is eliminating the position of chief operating officer at the company.

Liguori was primarily tasked with overseeing Discovery’s joint ventures, including OWN, the cable network it launched this year with Oprah Winfrey, and the Hub, a kids cable channel that counts Hasbro as its partner.


However, when Winfrey decided to make herself chief executive of OWN, Liguori was squeezed out of much of the day-to-day activities at the network. On the one hand, that meant he was free of the turmoil that has surrounded the channel since even before it launched. On the other hand, it also took away one of his key responsibilities. The way the situation was handled also chafed at Liguori, people close to him said.

In a statement, Liguori called his stint at Discovery ‘incredibly rewarding.’

Discovery Chief Executive David Zaslav thanked Liguori for ‘tackling some pretty challenging special assignments, including the launches of our joint venture networks -– the Hub, OWN and 3net.’ The latter is a 3-D cable channel Discovery launched with Sony Corp. and Imax.

-- Joe Flint


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