Marjorie Kaplan

Group President
Discovery Channel, TLC & Animal Planet

Photo of Marjorie Kaplan

In recognition of Marjorie Kaplan’s strong creative and business leadership, in 2014 she promoted to Group President Discovery Channel, TLC and Animal Planet, the top three flagship networks in the Discovery Communications portfolio.  Previously, Kaplan had served as group president of Animal Planet, Science Channel and Velocity.

In August, Kaplan took over leadership of Discovery Channel following its most successful SHARK WEEK in history.  Earlier in February, Kaplan took over control of TLC leading the network to achieve its highest ratings in primetime in second quarter in more than a decade. TLC’s record performance 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 the first half of 2014, TLC had 25 series averaging 1 million P2+ viewers or more, including seven series that averaged 2 million P2+ viewers or more: THE LITTLE COUPLE, 19 KIDS AND COUNTING, RETURN TO AMISH, SISTER WIVES, LONG ISLAND MEDIUM, HERE COMES HONEY BOO BOO, and 90 DAY FIANCÉ.  In addition, Kaplan launched a new tagline and brand campaign, "Everyone needs a little TLC," that embraces the well-known colloquial phrase while owning the inclusive, non-judgmental perspective on fascinatingly unfamiliar lives.

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 tagline, ‘Surprisingly Human,” and a new programming vision that delivered on the expansive and unexpected range of visceral experiences within the animal kingdom, creating a bold entertainment destination. Under Kaplan’s direction, Animal Planet achieved its most-watched year ever in both prime and total day in 2013 across several key demos including P2+ (711K, 457K), HH (510K, 351K), P25-54 (310K, 191K) and P18-49 (287K, 185K). 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.

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.

In 2013, in recognition of Kaplan’s role as a top performing executive in cable, she was honored as a Wonder Woman by Multichannel News, a Woman to Watch by Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT), and inducted into the CableFax Hall of Fame.

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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