Henry Schleiff and Kevin Bennett Depart Company for New Projects;
TLC’s Howard Lee Expands Portfolio to Include Travel Channel
NEW YORK – July 29, 2021 – Discovery, Inc. (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISK) has promoted lifestyle programming veteran Jason Sarlanis to President, Crime & Investigative Content, Linear and Streaming, effective Sept. 1, 2021. Kathleen Finch, Chief Lifestyle Brands Officer, Discovery, Inc. who made the announcement, also reported that Kevin Bennett, who currently is Group EVP Programming and General Manager at Investigation Discovery (ID), which in 2021 to date is the #1 network with W18-49 in Total Day, will depart in September and that Henry Schleiff will step down from his ID leadership role at the end of the year to pursue his passion for independent production. Schleiff already has a first look deal with the Discovery networks. Finch also announced that Howard Lee, President, TLC Streaming and Network Originals, will add Travel Channel to his responsibilities, Matt Butler, General Manager, Travel Channel will report to Lee. Sarlanis, who previously reported to Lee, now will report directly to Finch.
“Jason is a brilliant content creator and an exceptionally smart strategist, so putting him in charge of the crime and investigative group is the right move,” said Finch. “He is one of our most insightful, creative and passionate storytellers and his skillset is an ideal complement to the work we’re doing in this genre. His forward-looking leadership and track record with hits like Keeping Up With the Kardashians and the 90 Day Fiancé juggernaut is exactly what we need as we expand our crime content on both linear and discovery+.
Henry Schleiff is a changemaker, a risk-taker and a company and industry legend,” Finch continued. “His creative vision brought decades of success to our networks and we will miss having his influence and voice in the room. We are grateful that we had a creative visionary with us for so many years.”
Sarlanis will assume leadership for ID network, including leading programming development, production and content strategy and operations for true crime series and documentaries. He also will have responsibility for the genre on discovery+. Prior to this new role, he served as Senior Vice President, Development at TLC where he led development for all original programming for the linear network as well as for the love/relationship, family and lifestyle content for discovery+. During his tenure at TLC, Sarlanis was responsible for many breakout hits that helped TLC become the #1 primetime cable network for women in 2020. In addition to spearheading the expansion of the 90 Day Fiancé universe with ratings juggernauts Before the 90 Days, The Other Way, Darcey & Stacey and The Family Chantel, he championed streaming-exclusive series Bares All, Love Games, and The Single Life. He also worked on other recent brand-defining TLC programs including the hit series sMothered, UnExpected, I Love a Mama’s Boy, My Feet Are Killing Me and such family docusoaps as Welcome to Plathville, 1000 LB Sisters, and Doubling Down with the Derricos.
Prior to TLC, Sarlanis worked at ABC as Vice President, Alternative Series and Specials where he developed new series including To Tell the Truth and Battlebots. He also represented Disney ABC Television Group’s Alternative Department in the international format marketplace. Before his time at ABC, Sarlanis was Vice President, Original Programming and Series Development at E! Entertainment Television where he developed and provided creative oversight of such series as The Soup, Fashion Police, The Girls Next Door, Live from the Red Carpet, and the genre defining Keeping Up With the Kardashians franchise. He also was Senior Vice President at Ryan Seacrest Productions. Based in Los Angeles, Sarlanis is a graduate of Boston University with a B.S. in Film & Television.
Discovery, Inc. (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is a global leader in real life entertainment, serving a passionate audience of superfans around the world with content that inspires, informs and entertains. Discovery delivers over 8,000 hours of original programming each year and has category leadership across deeply loved content genres around the world. Available in 220 countries and territories and nearly 50 languages, Discovery is a platform innovator, reaching viewers on all screens, including TV Everywhere products such as the GO portfolio of apps; direct-to-consumer streaming services such as discovery+, Food Network Kitchen and MotorTrend OnDemand; digital-first and social content from Group Nine Media; a landmark natural history and factual content partnership with the BBC; and a strategic alliance with PGA TOUR to create the international home of golf. Discovery’s portfolio of premium brands includes Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Travel Channel, MotorTrend, Animal Planet, Science Channel, and the multi-platform JV with Chip and Joanna Gaines, Magnolia Network, as well as OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network in the U.S., Discovery Kids in Latin America, and Eurosport, the leading provider of locally relevant, premium sports and Home of the Olympic Games across Europe. For more information, please visit corporate.discovery.com and follow @DiscoveryIncTV across social platforms.