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Discovery Boss Responds to Everest Disaster, Says Network Will Continue to Create Death-Defying Live Events THR

The Discovery Channel remains committed to creating big death-defying live events, even after a disaster prompted the channel to pull the plug on "Everest Jump Live." That was the message from Discovery Group President Eileen O’Neill, who talked about the situation with The Hollywood Reporter.

O'Neill's comments, and the scrapping of "Everest Jump Live," followed an avalanche on Mount Everest that killed more than a dozen people.

“We're going to continue to do events we feel are responsible and are excited about and we're really well prepared for,” O’Neill said. “We knew there was a chance that forces of nature could disrupt this at different times and this one turned out to be catastrophic. We reacted accordingly. We're sobered by the things that we prepared for when they actually happen -- but it's not going to dissuade us from doing very smart projects.”

O’Neill added that the network will continue to prepare a year ahead of such events, starting by creating protocols and an “exhaustive amount of preparation and research.”

Asked whether the network would return to Mount Everest with daredevil Joby Ogwyn, who was to have jumped off the summit with a winged suit and cameras, O’Neill said: “We've had that discussion a bit and it's definitely too soon. It starts with a full evaluation of what those circumstances might look like. Part of the cancellation this year was the realization that the mountain was going to be closed for the foreseeable future.”

eileen o'neill.pngEileen O'Neill