Marjorie Kaplan

Group President
TLC and Animal Planet

Photo of Marjorie Kaplan

In February 2014, in recognition of Marjorie Kaplan’s strong creative and business leadership, she was promoted to group president of TLC and Animal Planet with TLC general manager Nancy Daniels reporting to her. Previously, Kaplan had served as group president of Animal Planet, Science Channel and Velocity, adding Science Channel and Velocity to her roster of networks in 2011 and 2012.

Since assuming this role, Kaplan led TLC to a record-breaking second quarter in 2014 with the network achieving its highest ratings in prime for the second quarter in more than a decade among Women 25-54 and households. The strong quarter was driven by the best seasons ever of THE LITTLE COUPLE which averaged 3 million viewers and 19 KIDS AND COUNTING which averaged 2.3 million viewers and helped make TLC #1 on Tuesday nights with Women 25-54.  In 2014 to-date, TLC is the #5 ad-supported Primetime cable network with W18-49, moving up 4 spots versus last year.

Since taking over leadership of Animal Planet in February 2007, Kaplan has transformed and revolutionized the Animal Planet business by repositioning the network into a more adult-focused, competitive entertainment brand.  Kaplan relaunched Animal Planet with a new logo, new brand campaign and new programming vision that delivered on the expansive and unexpected range of visceral experiences within the animal kingdom, creating a bold entertainment destination.  In recognition of Kaplan’s role as a top performing executive in cable television, in 2013 she was named  a Wonder Woman  by Multichannel News, also honored as a Woman to Watch by Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT), and was inducted into the CableFax Hall of Fame.

In 2010, Kaplan signaled a further evolution in programming strategy and brand with the introduction of a new tagline “Surprisingly Human.” Under Kaplan’s leadership and direction,  in 2013, Animal Planet outperformed its record-breaking 2012 by achieving its most-watched year ever in both prime and total day across several key demos including P2+ (711K, 457K), HH (510K, 351K), P25-54 (310K, 191K) and P18-49 (287K, 185K).The network also reeled in its most-watched year in prime with M25-54 (162K) and W18-49 (138K). In fact, in 2013, the network spent three weeks as a top-10 network for P25-54 and entered 2014 as the #16-ranked network among all ad-supported cable networks with M25-54.

Also in 2013, 10 Animal Planet programs delivered or surpassed 1 million viewers, including MERMAIDS: THE NEW EVIDENCE, PUPPY BOWL IX, RIVER MONSTERS, TREEHOUSE MASTERS, CALL OF THE WILDMAN, GATOR BOYS, FINDING BIGFOOT, WILD WEST ALASKA, PIT BULLS & PAROLEES and TANKED.

Additionally, Kaplan oversaw the launch of Animal Planet L!VE, the network's digital video destination, which extends its brand by offering viewers raw, unfiltered access to animals via non-traditional television, including computers, tablets, smartphones and web-connected TV. Since its launch in 2013, APL L!VE has achieved more than 12 million streams, with consumers watching more than 1.5 million hours of content. 

With Kaplan at the Animal Planet helm, the network launched WHALE WARS, an environmental adventure series following the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society who use unconventional and radical methods to eradicate alleged illegal whaling operations. Following that success, she launched the network's best-performing series ever, RIVER MONSTERS, a nature adventure series following extreme angler Jeremy Wade in his worldwide search for harrowing tales of man-eating fish. In its most recent fifth season, RIVER MONSTERS delivered its most watched season ever with 1.8M P2+ viewers. 

Kaplan is responsible for the strategic direction and day-to-day operations of this multi-media venture that includes the Animal Planet television network, available in more than 95 million homes in the US; online assets www.animalplanet.com, the ultimate online destination for all things animal; and other media platforms including a robust Video-on-Demand (VOD) service and merchandising extensions.

Kaplan joined Discovery Communications Inc. in 1997 as senior vice president for Children's Programming and Products, and oversaw the launch of Discovery Kids Channel that same year.  For over a decade, Kaplan directed children's programming for Discovery Networks, U.S., including all Discovery Kids Channel programming as well as the three-hour commercial free READY, SET, LEARN pre-school block that aired on TLC and Discovery Kids Channel, the discoverykids.com website, and children's products and services. In 2006, Kaplan led Discovery Kids Channel to 14 daytime Emmy nominations.

Before joining Discovery, Kaplan served as executive vice president at Lancit Media Entertainment, the Emmy Award-winning producer of children's programs including "Reading Rainbow" and "The Puzzle Place." Discovery purchased a minority equity stake in Lancit Media in September 1996, and Kaplan became responsible for managing the relationship between Discovery and Lancit.

Kaplan also served as director of advertising for Kraft General Foods where she was responsible for brand strategy, positioning, and advertising.  Additionally, Kaplan was a vice president at Ogilvy & Mather, with clients including General Foods, AT&T and TWA. She also consulted to Warner Amex Satellite Entertainment on the development of a shopping channel.

Kaplan is an alumna of Brown University where she majored in Semiotics. She and her husband live in New York City with their two sons.

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