(Silver Spring, MD) Discovery Communications today announced that Founder John Hendricks will retire as Chairman of the company’s Board of Directors and as a Director of the Board. He will remain in his current position through the annual meeting of shareholders on May 16, 2014.

“Few words can appropriately convey what kind of person John is, or what he has meant to this company and the cable television industry overall.  He is a true visionary, a man of enormous integrity and one of the world’s great entrepreneurs. On behalf of the 5,600 employees of Discovery Communications, I want to thank John for all that he has done, and all that he has stood for, as Founder and Chairman of Discovery for more than 30 years, and believing the world needed a different kind of media company – a purpose-driven media company,” said David Zaslav, President and CEO of Discovery Communications.

Hendricks has served as Chairman and Founder of Discovery Communications, preceding and including the launch of the Discovery Channel on June 17, 1985.  He stepped down as CEO in 2004 and remained Chairman of the Board.  Hendricks notified the Board of Directors by letter (CLICK HERE FOR LETTER).

Hendricks created Discovery Channel as the first cable network in the United States to provide high-quality documentary programming enabling people to explore their world and satisfy their curiosity.  Hendricks pioneered the launch of digital networks in the United States in the 1990s and launched the first 24/7 basic cable HD channel, Discovery HD Theater, in 2002. He has been honored with a Primetime Emmy Award and with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences highest honor, the Governor’s Award, for conceiving the TLC series, Great Books. The Ark Trust named him a recipient of the Genesis Award for lifetime achievement for his efforts in raising awareness around the globe about animal issues. Hendricks also has been recognized as the first corporate leader to receive the National Education Association’s Friend of Education award for innovations in education and technology and greatly expanding educational opportunity for America’s schoolchildren.

About Discovery Communications

Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is the world’s #1 pay-TV programmer reaching 2.5 billion cumulative subscribers in over 220 countries and territories. Discovery is dedicated to satisfying curiosity through more than 190 worldwide television networks, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Science and Investigation Discovery, as well as U.S. joint venture networks OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network and the Hub Network. Across the Nordic region, Discovery owns and operates SBS Discovery Media, a top-three portfolio of television brands that feature leading nonfiction content, as well as locally produced entertainment programs, sports and the best scripted series and movies from major studios. Discovery also is a leading provider of educational products and services to schools, including an award-winning series of K-12 digital textbooks, and a digital leader with a diversified online portfolio, including Discovery Digital Networks. For more information, please visit