David Zaslav sets the strategy and oversees all operations of the world's number one nonfiction media company that empowers people to explore their world and satisfy their curiosity. Discovery Communications' 130-plus TV networks reach more than 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers in over 200 countries and its websites attract more than 20 million combined unique visitors per month.
Since taking the helm at Discovery in January 2007, Zaslav has executed a number of initiatives that have focused the organization on growth, performance and operational efficiency. He directed a strategic effort to clarify and strengthen Discovery's world-class brands, highlighted by a partnership with Oprah Winfrey that launched OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, a multi-platform joint venture that launched to approximately 80 million homes in January 1, 2011, with a mission to empower, entertain and uplift.
Under his leadership, Discovery also has formed joint ventures with Hasbro to launch The Hub, a children's television network, and with Sony and Imax to launch 3net, the first 24x7 3D television network. In addition, Zaslav has driven Discovery's digital media strategy through the acquisitions of HowStuffWorks.com, the leading online source of high-quality, unbiased, and easy-to-understand explanations of how the world actually works, and Treehugger.com, the leading eco-lifestyle website.
In 2009, Zaslav was honored by the by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) with their Forces for Nature award for his vision and leadership in creating Planet Green, Discovery's network devoted to sustainability and the environment, as well as Discovery's ongoing commitment to embracing "green" as a corporate value and developing the highest quality programming that celebrates the wonders of our planet for audiences around the world.
Prior to Discovery, Zaslav had a distinguished career at NBC Universal. As president of Cable and Domestic TV and New Media Distribution, Zaslav oversaw content distribution to all forms of TV, led negotiations for cable and satellite carriage of NBC Universal networks, and forged innovative new-media partnerships, including a pioneering video-on-demand deal with the leading cable operator, Comcast. Zaslav also brought films and TV shows to consumers through new paths including the Internet, cell phones and other wireless devices.
Zaslav joined NBC in 1989 and was instrumental in developing and launching CNBC that same year. He played a key role in creating MSNBC in 1996. His responsibilities extended to Bravo, CNBC World, SCI FI, ShopNBC, Sleuth, Telemundo, Telemundo Puerto Rico, mun2, Trio, Universal HD, USA Network, NBC Weather Plus and the Olympics on cable. Zaslav also oversaw NBC Universal's interests in A&E, The History Channel, The Biography Channel, National Geographic International, the Sundance Channel and TiVo.
Before joining NBC, Zaslav was an attorney with the New York firm of LeBouef, Lamb, Leiby & MacRae. He graduated with honors from Boston University School of Law. Zaslav serves on the boards of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, The Cable Center, Center for Communication, the Ad Council, and Skills for America's Future. He also is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Paley Center for Media, the Mt. Sinai Medical Center and previously served as an adjunct professor at Fordham University, where he created and taught a graduate-level course on the business of cable television.
In 2007, Zaslav received a Trustees Award for Lifetime Achievement from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
MONDAY GENERAL SESSION
Monday, May 21, 2012
10:00 AM - 11:15 AM