David M. Zaslav

President and CEO
Discovery Communications

Photo of David M. Zaslav

As chief executive of Discovery Communications, David Zaslav sets the strategy and oversees all operations for the #1 pay-TV programmer in the world. Discovery’s 210-plus TV networks reach 2.7 billion cumulative subscribers in more than 220 countries and territories. 

Zaslav has led Discovery since 2007, executing a number of initiatives that have focused the organization on growth, performance and operational efficiency. He also has directed a strategic effort to clarify and strengthen Discovery’s world-class brands, including a renewed focus on creativity and increased investment in original content. In September 2008, under his leadership, Discovery began trading as a public company on the Nasdaq stock exchange and in 2014 became a Fortune 500 company. Fortune also recently named Discovery as one of the world’s most admired companies.

Since Zaslav took the helm, Discovery has launched some of the fastest-growing cable networks in the U.S., including Investigation Discovery, Velocity, Destination America and American Heroes Channel, and has premiered such iconic programming and award-winning specials as “Planet Earth” and “Skywire Live with Nik Wallenda.” The company also partnered with Oprah Winfrey to launch OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

Under Zaslav's leadership, Discovery has rolled out TLC – now the most widely distributed female-targeted entertainment and lifestyle channel brand in media – to more than 185  global countries and territories and ID to more than 150 countries and territories markets, creating an unmatched international portfolio for viewers, advertisers and distributors. In 2013, Discovery expanded its international operations with the acquisition of SBS Nordic, a top-three portfolio of television brands across Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland featuring leading nonfiction content, locally produced entertainment programs and scripted series. Most recently, the company completed a transaction to acquire a controlling interest in top European sports platform, Eurosport International.   

In 2012, Zaslav received the UJA-Federation of New York’s Steven J. Ross Humanitarian Award and in 2014, was awarded the Fred Dressler Leadership Award by Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Zaslav also spearheaded Discovery Impact, the company’s corporate social responsibility programs. 

Prior to joining Discovery, Zaslav had a distinguished career at NBCUniversal, where he was instrumental in developing and launching CNBC and also played a role in the creation of MSNBC. He was previously an attorney with the New York firm of LeBoeuf, Lamb, Leiby & MacRae and graduated with honors from Boston University School of Law.

Zaslav serves on the boards of Sirius XM Radio, Inc., Univision Communications Inc., the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, The Cable Center, Center for Communication 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. 

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