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Mark Hollinger, President and CEO, Discovery Networks International

Feb 11, 2010  •  Post A Comment

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‘We have started to talk to Harpo about the international possibilities of OWN, either as a whole or for programming.’

TVWeek: I am wondering two things. First, what you think about the TV Everywhere concept in general as a content provider, and second, how is that concept handled in various international markets.

Mark Hollinger: Generally speaking, it’s all a question of business model. [What you want to know is] there a version of TV Everywhere that provides a good business model for us, a business model that doesn’t just have us moving audience into a lower monetization form of media.

I think there is. As we talk about it internally, as we talk about it with distributors, we talk about how do you maintain the value of viewers online for ad sales purposes versus the value of those viewers on TV.

There are ways that that can be done, but it’s really all about the business model for the online distribution and can you make it robust enough. We’ve seen this with certain distributors and certain markets, they’ve been using the TV Everywhere idea and that kind of name. And it’s the same issue, if you’re a cable operator in the UK or in Japan or wherever. It’s the same of types of issues, the same pressures that they’re facing online and they often do look to the US for a bit of guidance as to what works and what doesn’t work. So I’m sure were going to see the exact same set of conversations play out internationally over the next two or three years.

TVWeek: International is clearly a growth engine for the company. Could you what that means looking forward? For example, what percentage of total revenue of the company comes from International?

Hollinger: About a third of the revenue of the company is International, so it’s a pretty big chunk of our business. In terms of the growth prospects, very generally speaking—because we’re dealing with roughly 175 markets—[these] international [markets], as compared to the US, are places where [subscription] TV is less mature and less penetrated as the percentage of television households so there’s upside growth there. Generally the [subscription] television advertising markets are less mature than in the US, so the relative balance of ad dollars that go to broadcast versus [subscription] is less, so there’s a lot of upside there.

Then I would say that in terms of our business, the good news is that we’re very well penetrated. We got out early, Discovery is the most widely distributed [subscription] television channel in the world. Our portfolio is very strong market to market, but in big mature [subscription] TV markets, like in the UK, we actually have more channels than we have in the US. In other markets, we’re less mature, the portfolio is smaller but it’s a lot of the same brands that you would see in terms of Discovery, Animal Planet, Science Channel. It’s a lot of the same channel brands and it’s a lot of the same programming.

One of the things that we have started to do and you’ve seen us do in the last three years with David Zaslav having joined us, is a retooling of the portfolio. Trying to find the best way from an audience and an ad sales perspective to maximize the channels that we have. So if Discovery Homes is not working, let’s try Planet Green. If Discovery Health has limitations let’s use that distribution for OWN.

We’re starting that same process now on an international basis, to try to really build strong audiences and ad sales propositions beyond Discovery, which is a very big driver of business internationally.

TVWeek: That leads us into the next question, which is how your content translates globally and what works and what doesn’t work?

Hollinger: We have the benefit of programming in the broad genre of nonfiction that travels a lot better than fiction programming, than sports programming, than news programming, than virtually any other category

We have the added benefit of having this enormous production engine in the United States and as a company, Discovery Communications produces and uses more hours of nonfiction content than anybody in the world. So we have this big engine of 13 channels in the US producing content, and a very good portion of that works either in its format as produced for the US or as a format to be modified for international.

We supplement that with local acquisitions, certain levels of local co-production, because obviously the channels have to look and feel local. We also do probably more language customization than anybody in the world. We customize our services into at least 35 different languages.

What we’ve found is that classic nonfiction works generally very well and that lifestyle programming works less well—it tends to be more culturally specific. And, frankly, history programming works less well on a local basis [if it’s not localized].

So again, in International we stay in the sweet spot of classic science, natural history, adventure, archeology, space—a lot of the classic genres at Discovery network. That stuff tends to travel more than other forms of nonfiction.

TVWeek: As you know, a lot of reality shows that have been seen here on the broadcast networks, such as “Survivor,” “Fear Factor,” and “Weakest Link,” just to name a few, started in non-U.S. markets., Are there shows Discovery has maybe put on itself in another market and then said, ‘Wow, that’s working so well in Singapore, we should actually do a US version of this show?”

Hollinger: Off the top of my head I can’t think of a show that has been a big success in the US that we can say started with our own development team internationally.

TVWeek: Though Discovery is overwhelmingly a company that shows non-fiction programming, with the Hasbro deal here in the U.S. you’ll start showing some fiction kids programming. And you do some fiction programming internationally, don’t you?

Hollinger: Yes. In Latin America, on our channel called People and Arts.

TVWeek: Could you talk a little about that?

Hollinger: It’s a joint venture channel with the BBC and it’s probably now been in the market roughly ten years. It’s very well distributed in Latin America and from the beginning it’s been a channel that has had a lot more scripted content on it than anything else would have.

The idea behind People and Arts has been let’s find an outlet for the scripted programming the BBC has in a market where they didn’t have a history of either success with own BBC channels or big program sales.

TVWeek: You have the Oprah Winfrey Network—OWN—coming up next year here in the U.S. Is that a channel that you will be translating globally?

Hollinger: We have started to talk with Harpo about the international opportunities for the network either as a whole or for programming. We both are very excited that there will be certain markets where we’d love to see the chan
nel get distributed, and we’ve already had interests from a number of markets, so I think there will be an international life for OWN.

TVWeek: What are some of the markets that you feel provide you with the biggest opportunities moving forward?

Hollinger: I would say for short hand purposes, the BRIC countries are big growth markets..

TVWeek: Which ones are those?

Hollinger: The BRIC countries are an acronym for Brazil, Russia, India and China. In that order, Brazil is a big growth market for [subscription] TV, and we’re very well established there. So that’s a big growth market for us.

Russia and really all of central and eastern Europe have been very, very good growth markets for us.

In India, we just launched another two channels. It’s a great economy, lots of growth. It’s pretty open to channels from the West because education is so important in that market. They just love our networks. So that’s a great market for us.

China remains sort of frightening for everybody in Western media—more potential than real dollars at this point. But if you could find a way to really crack into the Chinese market in a big way, it’s certainly growing as a consumer economy and as a big media consumption society as well.

If you look at the world, where the [subscription] opportunities are best are a lot of the markets where the economies are developing and/or transforming. The big, established First World economies tend to be either mature from a [subscription] TV point of view or have interesting regulatory constructs that we have to deal with. So the UK is very mature as market. Germany and Japan both have interesting regulatory constructs that we have to deal with that which may make things a bit challenging there. So it’s those developing and transformational markets that tend to be the big opportunities for us.

TVWeek: Is there any market where you’re not in but you’d really like to be in?

Hollinger: Realistically no. I would say we are in every market in the world where there is [subscription] television. There are obviously markets where we’d like to be in a more substantial way, but we really have managed to get at the very least Discovery Channel, if not multiple channels, into every [subscription] TV market in the world.

TVWeek: Is there one show that you’d feel comfortable saying is Discovery Communications’ most popular show in the world?

Hollinger: I would say right now probably ‘Deadliest Catch.’ deadliest-catch1.jpgIt’s great visually, it has great stories. Quite frankly even if you just watch it as a visual event, it’s very compelling. So I would say right now that is probably our biggest global hit.

TVWeek: Given the worldwide recession, plus the various regulatory challenges you face around the world, what keeps you up at night?

Hollinger: One is just the current environment which has currently slowed down the penetration growth of [subscription] TV in some markets and which has hit the [subscription] TV ad market in some countries just as it has hit part of the other advertising markets. But all of that feels like we’re probably heading into more positive territory.

I would say that the biggest challenge for us on a global basis is the interplay between [subscription] TV and broadband, very generally speaking. We all have free, ad-driven content on broadband, and can [subscription] TV generally—with us obviously as a big beneficiary of it—really maintain its business model in the face of broadband? The impact of free content on broadband is probably the single biggest factor, over the next five years, that’s going to create challenges for us.#

To read our introduction to this special report, "Cable TV Programmer of the Decade," click here.

To read our interview with Discovery President and CEO David Zaslav, click here.

To read our interview with Bruce Campbell, President, Digital Media and Corporate Development for Discovery, click here.

To read our interview with Bill Goodwyn, Discovery’s President, Domestic Distribution and Enterprises, click here.

To read our interview with Henry Schleiff, Discovery’s President and General Manager of Investigation Discovery, Military Channel and HD Theater, click here.

To read our interview with Marjorie Kaplan, President and General Manager, Animal Planet Media Enterprises, click here.

To read our interview with Laura Michalchyshyn, President and General Manager, Planet Green, Discovery Health and FitTV, click here.

To read our interview with Joe Abruzzese, President of Discovery Advertising Sales, click here

To read our interview with Eileen O’Neill, President and General Manager of TLC, click here

To read our interview with Clark Bunting, President and General Manager of the Discovery Channel, click here.

To read our interview with Carole Tomko, President and General Manager of Discovery Studios, click here

62 Comments

  1. Mr. Hollinger,
    I am writing to inquire about how to submit a movie making idea to your company? I have discovered and developed an extremely interesting and educational message about the very serious and sensitive subject of child molestation! I believe an awareness program, consisting of an illustration of how to effectively establish trust, would have a definite impact on prevention!
    I am not a professional writer, however, I do have a short synopsis and script of the concept. I have a great passion to promote the idea, but lack the knowledge and skills to put it together! Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated! Have any interest contact me at:
    Larry Shields
    P.O.Box 3182
    Early, Texas 76802
    Email: coltclnc@yahoo.com
    Thank you so much for your time and consideration!

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  3. The personalities of TLC’s innovative show “Sister Wives” at present being looked at by Utah police for potential felony bigamy, Kody Brown, along with his 4 wives rising publicity from the TLC show started to generate the notice and suspicion of the authorities, the fact is that, police supposedly all started assessing the Brown family group just before their tv series even premiered last Sunday.

  4. Hows it Going, Just wanted to let you know that this url is not displaying properly on the Samsung Slider. Anyway, I’m now browsing this page on my laptop, so thanks!

  5. Way to focus and straight to your point, i love it. Keep up the work people. Dont let anyone stop us bloggers.

  6. You make blogging look like a walk in the park! I’ve been trying to blog daily but I just cant find writing material.. you’re an inspiration to me and i’m sure many others!

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  17. I am an avid watcher of Discover Health and am totally dismayed to find Oprah taking over. Will the health/oddities be taken up elsewhere by another network or by you people on another avenue? I am so NOT INTERESTED in Oprah’s celebrity status or her format.
    Kay Gafford

  18. Wow, amazing blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy.

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  21. If you’re still on the fence: grab your favorite earphones, head down to a Best Buy and ask to plug them into a Zune then an iPod and see which one sounds better to you, and which interface makes you smile more. Then you’ll know which is right for you.

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  25. Keep focusing on your blog. I love how we can all express our feelings. This is an extremely nice blog here :)

  26. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz reply back as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like to know wheere u got this from. thanks

  27. Neat blog layout! Very easy on the eyes.. i like the colors you picked out

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  30. I really like the colors here on your blog. did you design this yourself or did you outsource it to a professional?

  31. Mr Mark Hollinger, Nicholas Bonard,
    C/O David Zaslav,
    @Discovery.
    I write in regard to the planned January 2011 programmes on Discovery, that will feature the mock ‘autopsy’ of the late Michael Jackson on the 13, 14, 16 and 17.
    I am one of a number of people not only astonished that Discovery would entertain this kind of programming as acceptable, but that the human beings involved could so badly miscalculate how that decision will affect future viewership of Discovery.
    Can you explain to me how you can justify this kind of programming knowing Mr Jackson is survived by three children? Do you imagine they are living in caves? Or that the children they now attend school with are?
    Whether Mr Jackson’s children hear about this programme now or (more likely) in the future, and whether that synthetic cadaver looks like Jackson or not — that will ‘feel’ like their father on that simulated slab.
    Lets talk about that.
    Lets imagine, just for a moment gentlemen, that your jobs — the jobs you struggled for, pushed for and aimed for — one day claimed you? That one day, your heart simply skipped with the stress of living at the pace you do; and you died.
    Imagine those you left behind.
    Now imagine a similar re-enactment being proposed for your autopsy, and imagine how that would affect your own families.
    Whether they watch it now or not, these intended programmes will profoundly affect Mr Jackson’s children and his family. But because you can’t see those children, you imagine it doesn’t matter.
    But you are wrong. It matters a great deal.
    The life of a televison programme, with syndication, licensing, means their ‘lives’ are long. The idea that one day three young teenagers could unwittingly, or by some other means, be confronted with the reality that their father’s life was reduced to a public ‘spectacle’ for others to watch; won’t just hurt a little — it will hurt more than any us could ever imagine.
    If you cannot imagine that for your own children; how can you let that happen to someone else’s?
    If the Discovery Channel and Dr. Hunter were featuring the autopsy of say, someone like… Princess Diana? Or maybe Tim Russert? Or perhaps Elizabeth Edwards — you would pause before considering it. But not with Jackson.
    Why is that?
    Is that because Princess Diana and Tim Russert are human beings? And Michael Jackson is what… a freak show?
    Apparently you cannot imagine, as his eldest daughter Paris described in a recent inteview — her father making his children French toast and reading to them before they went to sleep? Well believe it or not, Mr Jackson’s children can.
    This proposed program on Jackson is not acceptable. And as a member of a media group, and more importantly as human beings, it is time all of you listened to more than the voices of your staff and shareholders.
    There is a reason why you feel it’s okay to cut up a likeness (or not) of Jackson and sell that around the world. It was being done ‘to’ Jackson throughout his life, why wouldn’t it continue after his death?
    And now, you are poised once again to profit from that dismemberment by “carving him up yet again in public and on television.”
    How many more times will this be done? How many times can a so-called civilized country and a channel that claims to put ethical programming front and centre of its ethos, be party to the de facto rape of someone’s memory? And how many more times will you justify this by saying:
    ‘If I don’t someone else will?
    All three of you, and Discovery, have an opportunity here to stop this obscenity. Because that’s what airing these programmes would be — an obscenity.
    So now I invite both of you now, to stand a little taller, breathe a little deeper, and look at what you are doing.
    This proposed faux autopsy is a step beyond what is decent and what is right, and it is one you will not be able to erase once embarked on.
    History will record your part in this travesty, remember the names of those who sanctioned it and wonder — as I do — how human beings can do this in the name of entertainment?
    I urge Discovery to think again — if not for yourselves — then for those you know will be so hurt by these proposed shows.
    Thousands will thank and respect you for calling a halt to this disgrace.
    And I will be one of them.
    Deborah Ffrench
    15/12/2010.

  32. Mr Mark Hollinger, Nicholas Bonard,
    C/O David Zaslav,
    @Discovery.
    I write in regard to the planned January 2011 programmes on Discovery, that will feature the mock ‘autopsy’ of the late Michael Jackson on the 13, 14, 16 and 17.
    I am one of a number of people not only astonished that Discovery would entertain this kind of programming as acceptable, but that the human beings involved could so badly miscalculate how that decision will affect future viewership of Discovery.
    Can you explain to me how you can justify this kind of programming knowing Mr Jackson is survived by three children? Do you imagine they are living in caves? Or that the children they now attend school with are?
    Whether Mr Jackson’s children hear about this programme now or (more likely) in the future, and whether that synthetic cadaver looks like Jackson or not — that will ‘feel’ like their father on that simulated slab.
    Lets talk about that.
    Lets imagine, just for a moment gentlemen, that your jobs — the jobs you struggled for, pushed for and aimed for — one day claimed you? That one day, your heart simply skipped with the stress of living at the pace you do; and you died.
    Imagine those you left behind.
    Now imagine a similar re-enactment being proposed for your autopsy, and imagine how that would affect your own families.
    Whether they watch it now or not, these intended programmes will profoundly affect Mr Jackson’s children and his family. But because you can’t see those children, you imagine it doesn’t matter.
    But you are wrong. It matters a great deal.
    The life of a televison programme, with syndication, licensing, means their ‘lives’ are long. The idea that one day three young teenagers could unwittingly, or by some other means, be confronted with the reality that their father’s life was reduced to a public ‘spectacle’ for others to watch; won’t just hurt a little — it will hurt more than any us could ever imagine.
    If you cannot imagine that for your own children; how can you let that happen to someone else’s?
    If the Discovery Channel and Dr. Hunter were featuring the autopsy of say, someone like… Princess Diana? Or maybe Tim Russert? Or perhaps Elizabeth Edwards — you would pause before considering it. But not with Jackson.
    Why is that?
    Is that because Princess Diana and Tim Russert are human beings? And Michael Jackson is what… a freak show?
    Apparently you cannot imagine, as his eldest daughter Paris described in a recent inteview — her father making his children French toast and reading to them before they went to sleep? Well believe it or not, Mr Jackson’s children can.
    This proposed program on Jackson is not acceptable. And as a member of a media group, and more importantly as human beings, it is time all of you listened to more than the voices of your staff and shareholders.
    There is a reason why you feel it’s okay to cut up a likeness (or not) of Jackson and sell that around the world. It was being done ‘to’ Jackson throughout his life, why wouldn’t it continue after his death?
    And now, you are poised once again to profit from that dismemberment by “carving him up yet again in public and on television.”
    How many more times will this be done? How many times can a so-called civilized country and a channel that claims to put ethical programming front and centre of its ethos, be party to the de facto rape of someone’s memory? And how many more times will you justify this by saying:
    ‘If I don’t someone else will?
    All three of you, and Discovery, have an opportunity here to stop this obscenity. Because that’s what airing these programmes would be — an obscenity.
    So now I invite both of you now, to stand a little taller, breathe a little deeper, and look at what you are doing.
    This proposed faux autopsy is a step beyond what is decent and what is right, and it is one you will not be able to erase once embarked on.
    History will record your part in this travesty, remember the names of those who sanctioned it and wonder — as I do — how human beings can do this in the name of entertainment?
    I urge Discovery to think again — if not for yourselves — then for those you know will be so hurt by these proposed shows.
    Thousands will thank and respect you for calling a halt to this disgrace.
    And I will be one of them.
    Deborah Ffrench
    15/12/2010.

  33. I SECOND THIS:
    Mr Mark Hollinger, Nicholas Bonard,
    C/O David Zaslav,
    @Discovery.
    I write in regard to the planned January 2011 programmes on Discovery, that will feature the mock ‘autopsy’ of the late Michael Jackson on the 13, 14, 16 and 17.
    I am one of a number of people not only astonished that Discovery would entertain this kind of programming as acceptable, but that the human beings involved could so badly miscalculate how that decision will affect future viewership of Discovery.
    Can you explain to me how you can justify this kind of programming knowing Mr Jackson is survived by three children? Do you imagine they are living in caves? Or that the children they now attend school with are?
    Whether Mr Jackson’s children hear about this programme now or (more likely) in the future, and whether that synthetic cadaver looks like Jackson or not — that will ‘feel’ like their father on that simulated slab.
    Lets talk about that.
    Lets imagine, just for a moment gentlemen, that your jobs — the jobs you struggled for, pushed for and aimed for — one day claimed you? That one day, your heart simply skipped with the stress of living at the pace you do; and you died.
    Imagine those you left behind.
    Now imagine a similar re-enactment being proposed for your autopsy, and imagine how that would affect your own families.
    Whether they watch it now or not, these intended programmes will profoundly affect Mr Jackson’s children and his family. But because you can’t see those children, you imagine it doesn’t matter.
    But you are wrong. It matters a great deal.
    The life of a televison programme, with syndication, licensing, means their ‘lives’ are long. The idea that one day three young teenagers could unwittingly, or by some other means, be confronted with the reality that their father’s life was reduced to a public ‘spectacle’ for others to watch; won’t just hurt a little — it will hurt more than any us could ever imagine.
    If you cannot imagine that for your own children; how can you let that happen to someone else’s?
    If the Discovery Channel and Dr. Hunter were featuring the autopsy of say, someone like… Princess Diana? Or maybe Tim Russert? Or perhaps Elizabeth Edwards — you would pause before considering it. But not with Jackson.
    Why is that?
    Is that because Princess Diana and Tim Russert are human beings? And Michael Jackson is what… a freak show?
    Apparently you cannot imagine, as his eldest daughter Paris described in a recent inteview — her father making his children French toast and reading to them before they went to sleep? Well believe it or not, Mr Jackson’s children can.
    This proposed program on Jackson is not acceptable. And as a member of a media group, and more importantly as human beings, it is time all of you listened to more than the voices of your staff and shareholders.
    There is a reason why you feel it’s okay to cut up a likeness (or not) of Jackson and sell that around the world. It was being done ‘to’ Jackson throughout his life, why wouldn’t it continue after his death?
    And now, you are poised once again to profit from that dismemberment by “carving him up yet again in public and on television.”
    How many more times will this be done? How many times can a so-called civilized country and a channel that claims to put ethical programming front and centre of its ethos, be party to the de facto rape of someone’s memory? And how many more times will you justify this by saying:
    ‘If I don’t someone else will?
    All three of you, and Discovery, have an opportunity here to stop this obscenity. Because that’s what airing these programmes would be — an obscenity.
    So now I invite both of you now, to stand a little taller, breathe a little deeper, and look at what you are doing.
    This proposed faux autopsy is a step beyond what is decent and what is right, and it is one you will not be able to erase once embarked on.
    History will record your part in this travesty, remember the names of those who sanctioned it and wonder — as I do — how human beings can do this in the name of entertainment?
    I urge Discovery to think again — if not for yourselves — then for those you know will be so hurt by these proposed shows.
    Thousands will thank and respect you for calling a halt to this disgrace.
    And I will be one of them.
    Deborah Ffrench
    15/12/2010.

  34. I SECOND THIS:
    ————-
    Mr Mark Hollinger, Nicholas Bonard,
    C/O David Zaslav,
    @Discovery.
    I write in regard to the planned January 2011 programmes on Discovery, that will feature the mock ‘autopsy’ of the late Michael Jackson on the 13, 14, 16 and 17.
    I am one of a number of people not only astonished that Discovery would entertain this kind of programming as acceptable, but that the human beings involved could so badly miscalculate how that decision will affect future viewership of Discovery.
    Can you explain to me how you can justify this kind of programming knowing Mr Jackson is survived by three children? Do you imagine they are living in caves? Or that the children they now attend school with are?
    Whether Mr Jackson’s children hear about this programme now or (more likely) in the future, and whether that synthetic cadaver looks like Jackson or not — that will ‘feel’ like their father on that simulated slab.
    Lets talk about that.
    Lets imagine, just for a moment gentlemen, that your jobs — the jobs you struggled for, pushed for and aimed for — one day claimed you? That one day, your heart simply skipped with the stress of living at the pace you do; and you died.
    Imagine those you left behind.
    Now imagine a similar re-enactment being proposed for your autopsy, and imagine how that would affect your own families.
    Whether they watch it now or not, these intended programmes will profoundly affect Mr Jackson’s children and his family. But because you can’t see those children, you imagine it doesn’t matter.
    But you are wrong. It matters a great deal.
    The life of a televison programme, with syndication, licensing, means their ‘lives’ are long. The idea that one day three young teenagers could unwittingly, or by some other means, be confronted with the reality that their father’s life was reduced to a public ‘spectacle’ for others to watch; won’t just hurt a little — it will hurt more than any us could ever imagine.
    If you cannot imagine that for your own children; how can you let that happen to someone else’s?
    If the Discovery Channel and Dr. Hunter were featuring the autopsy of say, someone like… Princess Diana? Or maybe Tim Russert? Or perhaps Elizabeth Edwards — you would pause before considering it. But not with Jackson.
    Why is that?
    Is that because Princess Diana and Tim Russert are human beings? And Michael Jackson is what… a freak show?
    Apparently you cannot imagine, as his eldest daughter Paris described in a recent inteview — her father making his children French toast and reading to them before they went to sleep? Well believe it or not, Mr Jackson’s children can.
    This proposed program on Jackson is not acceptable. And as a member of a media group, and more importantly as human beings, it is time all of you listened to more than the voices of your staff and shareholders.
    There is a reason why you feel it’s okay to cut up a likeness (or not) of Jackson and sell that around the world. It was being done ‘to’ Jackson throughout his life, why wouldn’t it continue after his death?
    And now, you are poised once again to profit from that dismemberment by “carving him up yet again in public and on television.”
    How many more times will this be done? How many times can a so-called civilized country and a channel that claims to put ethical programming front and centre of its ethos, be party to the de facto rape of someone’s memory? And how many more times will you justify this by saying:
    ‘If I don’t someone else will?
    All three of you, and Discovery, have an opportunity here to stop this obscenity. Because that’s what airing these programmes would be — an obscenity.
    So now I invite both of you now, to stand a little taller, breathe a little deeper, and look at what you are doing.
    This proposed faux autopsy is a step beyond what is decent and what is right, and it is one you will not be able to erase once embarked on.
    History will record your part in this travesty, remember the names of those who sanctioned it and wonder — as I do — how human beings can do this in the name of entertainment?
    I urge Discovery to think again — if not for yourselves — then for those you know will be so hurt by these proposed shows.
    Thousands will thank and respect you for calling a halt to this disgrace.
    And I will be one of them.
    Deborah Ffrench
    15/12/2010.

  35. I SECOND THIS:
    ————-
    Mr Mark Hollinger, Nicholas Bonard,
    C/O David Zaslav,
    @Discovery.
    I write in regard to the planned January 2011 programmes on Discovery, that will feature the mock ‘autopsy’ of the late Michael Jackson on the 13, 14, 16 and 17.
    I am one of a number of people not only astonished that Discovery would entertain this kind of programming as acceptable, but that the human beings involved could so badly miscalculate how that decision will affect future viewership of Discovery.
    Can you explain to me how you can justify this kind of programming knowing Mr Jackson is survived by three children? Do you imagine they are living in caves? Or that the children they now attend school with are?
    Whether Mr Jackson’s children hear about this programme now or (more likely) in the future, and whether that synthetic cadaver looks like Jackson or not — that will ‘feel’ like their father on that simulated slab.
    Lets talk about that.
    Lets imagine, just for a moment gentlemen, that your jobs — the jobs you struggled for, pushed for and aimed for — one day claimed you? That one day, your heart simply skipped with the stress of living at the pace you do; and you died.
    Imagine those you left behind.
    Now imagine a similar re-enactment being proposed for your autopsy, and imagine how that would affect your own families.
    Whether they watch it now or not, these intended programmes will profoundly affect Mr Jackson’s children and his family. But because you can’t see those children, you imagine it doesn’t matter.
    But you are wrong. It matters a great deal.
    The life of a televison programme, with syndication, licensing, means their ‘lives’ are long. The idea that one day three young teenagers could unwittingly, or by some other means, be confronted with the reality that their father’s life was reduced to a public ‘spectacle’ for others to watch; won’t just hurt a little — it will hurt more than any us could ever imagine.
    If you cannot imagine that for your own children; how can you let that happen to someone else’s?
    If the Discovery Channel and Dr. Hunter were featuring the autopsy of say, someone like… Princess Diana? Or maybe Tim Russert? Or perhaps Elizabeth Edwards — you would pause before considering it. But not with Jackson.
    Why is that?
    Is that because Princess Diana and Tim Russert are human beings? And Michael Jackson is what… a freak show?
    Apparently you cannot imagine, as his eldest daughter Paris described in a recent inteview — her father making his children French toast and reading to them before they went to sleep? Well believe it or not, Mr Jackson’s children can.
    This proposed program on Jackson is not acceptable. And as a member of a media group, and more importantly as human beings, it is time all of you listened to more than the voices of your staff and shareholders.
    There is a reason why you feel it’s okay to cut up a likeness (or not) of Jackson and sell that around the world. It was being done ‘to’ Jackson throughout his life, why wouldn’t it continue after his death?
    And now, you are poised once again to profit from that dismemberment by “carving him up yet again in public and on television.”
    How many more times will this be done? How many times can a so-called civilized country and a channel that claims to put ethical programming front and centre of its ethos, be party to the de facto rape of someone’s memory? And how many more times will you justify this by saying:
    ‘If I don’t someone else will?
    All three of you, and Discovery, have an opportunity here to stop this obscenity. Because that’s what airing these programmes would be — an obscenity.
    So now I invite both of you now, to stand a little taller, breathe a little deeper, and look at what you are doing.
    This proposed faux autopsy is a step beyond what is decent and what is right, and it is one you will not be able to erase once embarked on.
    History will record your part in this travesty, remember the names of those who sanctioned it and wonder — as I do — how human beings can do this in the name of entertainment?
    I urge Discovery to think again — if not for yourselves — then for those you know will be so hurt by these proposed shows.
    Thousands will thank and respect you for calling a halt to this disgrace.
    And I will be one of them.
    Deborah Ffrench
    15/12/2010.

  36. I SECOND THIS:
    ————-
    Mr Mark Hollinger, Nicholas Bonard,
    C/O David Zaslav,
    @Discovery.
    I write in regard to the planned January 2011 programmes on Discovery, that will feature the mock ‘autopsy’ of the late Michael Jackson on the 13, 14, 16 and 17.
    I am one of a number of people not only astonished that Discovery would entertain this kind of programming as acceptable, but that the human beings involved could so badly miscalculate how that decision will affect future viewership of Discovery.
    Can you explain to me how you can justify this kind of programming knowing Mr Jackson is survived by three children? Do you imagine they are living in caves? Or that the children they now attend school with are?
    Whether Mr Jackson’s children hear about this programme now or (more likely) in the future, and whether that synthetic cadaver looks like Jackson or not — that will ‘feel’ like their father on that simulated slab.
    Lets talk about that.
    Lets imagine, just for a moment gentlemen, that your jobs — the jobs you struggled for, pushed for and aimed for — one day claimed you? That one day, your heart simply skipped with the stress of living at the pace you do; and you died.
    Imagine those you left behind.
    Now imagine a similar re-enactment being proposed for your autopsy, and imagine how that would affect your own families.
    Whether they watch it now or not, these intended programmes will profoundly affect Mr Jackson’s children and his family. But because you can’t see those children, you imagine it doesn’t matter.
    But you are wrong. It matters a great deal.
    The life of a televison programme, with syndication, licensing, means their ‘lives’ are long. The idea that one day three young teenagers could unwittingly, or by some other means, be confronted with the reality that their father’s life was reduced to a public ‘spectacle’ for others to watch; won’t just hurt a little — it will hurt more than any us could ever imagine.
    If you cannot imagine that for your own children; how can you let that happen to someone else’s?
    If the Discovery Channel and Dr. Hunter were featuring the autopsy of say, someone like… Princess Diana? Or maybe Tim Russert? Or perhaps Elizabeth Edwards — you would pause before considering it. But not with Jackson.
    Why is that?
    Is that because Princess Diana and Tim Russert are human beings? And Michael Jackson is what… a freak show?
    Apparently you cannot imagine, as his eldest daughter Paris described in a recent inteview — her father making his children French toast and reading to them before they went to sleep? Well believe it or not, Mr Jackson’s children can.
    This proposed program on Jackson is not acceptable. And as a member of a media group, and more importantly as human beings, it is time all of you listened to more than the voices of your staff and shareholders.
    There is a reason why you feel it’s okay to cut up a likeness (or not) of Jackson and sell that around the world. It was being done ‘to’ Jackson throughout his life, why wouldn’t it continue after his death?
    And now, you are poised once again to profit from that dismemberment by “carving him up yet again in public and on television.”
    How many more times will this be done? How many times can a so-called civilized country and a channel that claims to put ethical programming front and centre of its ethos, be party to the de facto rape of someone’s memory? And how many more times will you justify this by saying:
    ‘If I don’t someone else will?
    All three of you, and Discovery, have an opportunity here to stop this obscenity. Because that’s what airing these programmes would be — an obscenity.
    So now I invite both of you now, to stand a little taller, breathe a little deeper, and look at what you are doing.
    This proposed faux autopsy is a step beyond what is decent and what is right, and it is one you will not be able to erase once embarked on.
    History will record your part in this travesty, remember the names of those who sanctioned it and wonder — as I do — how human beings can do this in the name of entertainment?
    I urge Discovery to think again — if not for yourselves — then for those you know will be so hurt by these proposed shows.
    Thousands will thank and respect you for calling a halt to this disgrace.
    And I will be one of them.
    Deborah Ffrench
    15/12/2010.

  37. I SECOND THIS:
    ————-
    Mr Mark Hollinger, Nicholas Bonard,
    C/O David Zaslav,
    @Discovery.
    I write in regard to the planned January 2011 programmes on Discovery, that will feature the mock ‘autopsy’ of the late Michael Jackson on the 13, 14, 16 and 17.
    I am one of a number of people not only astonished that Discovery would entertain this kind of programming as acceptable, but that the human beings involved could so badly miscalculate how that decision will affect future viewership of Discovery.
    Can you explain to me how you can justify this kind of programming knowing Mr Jackson is survived by three children? Do you imagine they are living in caves? Or that the children they now attend school with are?
    Whether Mr Jackson’s children hear about this programme now or (more likely) in the future, and whether that synthetic cadaver looks like Jackson or not — that will ‘feel’ like their father on that simulated slab.
    Lets talk about that.
    Lets imagine, just for a moment gentlemen, that your jobs — the jobs you struggled for, pushed for and aimed for — one day claimed you? That one day, your heart simply skipped with the stress of living at the pace you do; and you died.
    Imagine those you left behind.
    Now imagine a similar re-enactment being proposed for your autopsy, and imagine how that would affect your own families.
    Whether they watch it now or not, these intended programmes will profoundly affect Mr Jackson’s children and his family. But because you can’t see those children, you imagine it doesn’t matter.
    But you are wrong. It matters a great deal.
    The life of a televison programme, with syndication, licensing, means their ‘lives’ are long. The idea that one day three young teenagers could unwittingly, or by some other means, be confronted with the reality that their father’s life was reduced to a public ‘spectacle’ for others to watch; won’t just hurt a little — it will hurt more than any us could ever imagine.
    If you cannot imagine that for your own children; how can you let that happen to someone else’s?
    If the Discovery Channel and Dr. Hunter were featuring the autopsy of say, someone like… Princess Diana? Or maybe Tim Russert? Or perhaps Elizabeth Edwards — you would pause before considering it. But not with Jackson.
    Why is that?
    Is that because Princess Diana and Tim Russert are human beings? And Michael Jackson is what… a freak show?
    Apparently you cannot imagine, as his eldest daughter Paris described in a recent inteview — her father making his children French toast and reading to them before they went to sleep? Well believe it or not, Mr Jackson’s children can.
    This proposed program on Jackson is not acceptable. And as a member of a media group, and more importantly as human beings, it is time all of you listened to more than the voices of your staff and shareholders.
    There is a reason why you feel it’s okay to cut up a likeness (or not) of Jackson and sell that around the world. It was being done ‘to’ Jackson throughout his life, why wouldn’t it continue after his death?
    And now, you are poised once again to profit from that dismemberment by “carving him up yet again in public and on television.”
    How many more times will this be done? How many times can a so-called civilized country and a channel that claims to put ethical programming front and centre of its ethos, be party to the de facto rape of someone’s memory? And how many more times will you justify this by saying:
    ‘If I don’t someone else will?
    All three of you, and Discovery, have an opportunity here to stop this obscenity. Because that’s what airing these programmes would be — an obscenity.
    So now I invite both of you now, to stand a little taller, breathe a little deeper, and look at what you are doing.
    This proposed faux autopsy is a step beyond what is decent and what is right, and it is one you will not be able to erase once embarked on.
    History will record your part in this travesty, remember the names of those who sanctioned it and wonder — as I do — how human beings can do this in the name of entertainment?
    I urge Discovery to think again — if not for yourselves — then for those you know will be so hurt by these proposed shows.
    Thousands will thank and respect you for calling a halt to this disgrace.
    And I will be one of them.
    Deborah Ffrench
    15/12/2010.

  38. I SECOND THIS:
    ————-
    Mr Mark Hollinger, Nicholas Bonard,
    C/O David Zaslav,
    @Discovery.
    I write in regard to the planned January 2011 programmes on Discovery, that will feature the mock ‘autopsy’ of the late Michael Jackson on the 13, 14, 16 and 17.
    I am one of a number of people not only astonished that Discovery would entertain this kind of programming as acceptable, but that the human beings involved could so badly miscalculate how that decision will affect future viewership of Discovery.
    Can you explain to me how you can justify this kind of programming knowing Mr Jackson is survived by three children? Do you imagine they are living in caves? Or that the children they now attend school with are?
    Whether Mr Jackson’s children hear about this programme now or (more likely) in the future, and whether that synthetic cadaver looks like Jackson or not — that will ‘feel’ like their father on that simulated slab.
    Lets talk about that.
    Lets imagine, just for a moment gentlemen, that your jobs — the jobs you struggled for, pushed for and aimed for — one day claimed you? That one day, your heart simply skipped with the stress of living at the pace you do; and you died.
    Imagine those you left behind.
    Now imagine a similar re-enactment being proposed for your autopsy, and imagine how that would affect your own families.
    Whether they watch it now or not, these intended programmes will profoundly affect Mr Jackson’s children and his family. But because you can’t see those children, you imagine it doesn’t matter.
    But you are wrong. It matters a great deal.
    The life of a televison programme, with syndication, licensing, means their ‘lives’ are long. The idea that one day three young teenagers could unwittingly, or by some other means, be confronted with the reality that their father’s life was reduced to a public ‘spectacle’ for others to watch; won’t just hurt a little — it will hurt more than any us could ever imagine.
    If you cannot imagine that for your own children; how can you let that happen to someone else’s?
    If the Discovery Channel and Dr. Hunter were featuring the autopsy of say, someone like… Princess Diana? Or maybe Tim Russert? Or perhaps Elizabeth Edwards — you would pause before considering it. But not with Jackson.
    Why is that?
    Is that because Princess Diana and Tim Russert are human beings? And Michael Jackson is what… a freak show?
    Apparently you cannot imagine, as his eldest daughter Paris described in a recent inteview — her father making his children French toast and reading to them before they went to sleep? Well believe it or not, Mr Jackson’s children can.
    This proposed program on Jackson is not acceptable. And as a member of a media group, and more importantly as human beings, it is time all of you listened to more than the voices of your staff and shareholders.
    There is a reason why you feel it’s okay to cut up a likeness (or not) of Jackson and sell that around the world. It was being done ‘to’ Jackson throughout his life, why wouldn’t it continue after his death?
    And now, you are poised once again to profit from that dismemberment by “carving him up yet again in public and on television.”
    How many more times will this be done? How many times can a so-called civilized country and a channel that claims to put ethical programming front and centre of its ethos, be party to the de facto rape of someone’s memory? And how many more times will you justify this by saying:
    ‘If I don’t someone else will?
    All three of you, and Discovery, have an opportunity here to stop this obscenity. Because that’s what airing these programmes would be — an obscenity.
    So now I invite both of you now, to stand a little taller, breathe a little deeper, and look at what you are doing.
    This proposed faux autopsy is a step beyond what is decent and what is right, and it is one you will not be able to erase once embarked on.
    History will record your part in this travesty, remember the names of those who sanctioned it and wonder — as I do — how human beings can do this in the name of entertainment?
    I urge Discovery to think again — if not for yourselves — then for those you know will be so hurt by these proposed shows.
    Thousands will thank and respect you for calling a halt to this disgrace.
    And I will be one of them.
    Deborah Ffrench
    15/12/2010.

  39. I SECOND THIS:
    ————-
    Mr Mark Hollinger, Nicholas Bonard,
    C/O David Zaslav,
    @Discovery.
    I write in regard to the planned January 2011 programmes on Discovery, that will feature the mock ‘autopsy’ of the late Michael Jackson on the 13, 14, 16 and 17.
    I am one of a number of people not only astonished that Discovery would entertain this kind of programming as acceptable, but that the human beings involved could so badly miscalculate how that decision will affect future viewership of Discovery.
    Can you explain to me how you can justify this kind of programming knowing Mr Jackson is survived by three children? Do you imagine they are living in caves? Or that the children they now attend school with are?
    Whether Mr Jackson’s children hear about this programme now or (more likely) in the future, and whether that synthetic cadaver looks like Jackson or not — that will ‘feel’ like their father on that simulated slab.
    Lets talk about that.
    Lets imagine, just for a moment gentlemen, that your jobs — the jobs you struggled for, pushed for and aimed for — one day claimed you? That one day, your heart simply skipped with the stress of living at the pace you do; and you died.
    Imagine those you left behind.
    Now imagine a similar re-enactment being proposed for your autopsy, and imagine how that would affect your own families.
    Whether they watch it now or not, these intended programmes will profoundly affect Mr Jackson’s children and his family. But because you can’t see those children, you imagine it doesn’t matter.
    But you are wrong. It matters a great deal.
    The life of a televison programme, with syndication, licensing, means their ‘lives’ are long. The idea that one day three young teenagers could unwittingly, or by some other means, be confronted with the reality that their father’s life was reduced to a public ‘spectacle’ for others to watch; won’t just hurt a little — it will hurt more than any us could ever imagine.
    If you cannot imagine that for your own children; how can you let that happen to someone else’s?
    If the Discovery Channel and Dr. Hunter were featuring the autopsy of say, someone like… Princess Diana? Or maybe Tim Russert? Or perhaps Elizabeth Edwards — you would pause before considering it. But not with Jackson.
    Why is that?
    Is that because Princess Diana and Tim Russert are human beings? And Michael Jackson is what… a freak show?
    Apparently you cannot imagine, as his eldest daughter Paris described in a recent inteview — her father making his children French toast and reading to them before they went to sleep? Well believe it or not, Mr Jackson’s children can.
    This proposed program on Jackson is not acceptable. And as a member of a media group, and more importantly as human beings, it is time all of you listened to more than the voices of your staff and shareholders.
    There is a reason why you feel it’s okay to cut up a likeness (or not) of Jackson and sell that around the world. It was being done ‘to’ Jackson throughout his life, why wouldn’t it continue after his death?
    And now, you are poised once again to profit from that dismemberment by “carving him up yet again in public and on television.”
    How many more times will this be done? How many times can a so-called civilized country and a channel that claims to put ethical programming front and centre of its ethos, be party to the de facto rape of someone’s memory? And how many more times will you justify this by saying:
    ‘If I don’t someone else will?
    All three of you, and Discovery, have an opportunity here to stop this obscenity. Because that’s what airing these programmes would be — an obscenity.
    So now I invite both of you now, to stand a little taller, breathe a little deeper, and look at what you are doing.
    This proposed faux autopsy is a step beyond what is decent and what is right, and it is one you will not be able to erase once embarked on.
    History will record your part in this travesty, remember the names of those who sanctioned it and wonder — as I do — how human beings can do this in the name of entertainment?
    I urge Discovery to think again — if not for yourselves — then for those you know will be so hurt by these proposed shows.
    Thousands will thank and respect you for calling a halt to this disgrace.
    And I will be one of them.
    Deborah Ffrench
    15/12/2010.

  40. I love the way you write and also the theme on your blog. Did you code this yourself or was it done by a professional? I’m very very impressed.

  41. What Is The Added Value?
    I know you are airing the mock autopsy of Michael Jackson because you find him sensational. Yes, The King of Pop was enigmatic & provocative, but that is not a good enough reason to do this. For me Michael Jackson was a human being before he was a celebrity, and not every minute aspect of his life needs dissection. This is a critical juncture in society where macabre curiosity has surpassed common decency. I can only imagine what grief it would bring to his loved ones to have this insensitive program aired. I get it this is part of the cult of celebrity, but there should be limits, and this – this has gone too far. The mock carving up of a human being televised only because he is a celebrity is just in poor taste.
    Michael Jackson was stripped and laid bare in life, and dissected by the media all for profit. I guess a televised autopsy is the natural progression. However, is it necessary and what is the added value? Am I missing something? It is not too late to turn back, please do not air this unnecessary, and invasive program. In addition we both know it is only being done because the subject is Michael Joseph Jackson. You have/would never have done this to another deceased celebrity.
    “You keep on stalking me
    Invading my privacy
    won’t you just let me be
    Your cameras can’t control
    The minds of those who know
    That you’ll even sell your soul
    Just to get your story sold.”
    Privacy -by Michael Jackson
    Let The Dead Rest In Peace,
    Teva McQuerry

  42. Love the blog here. Nice colors. I am definitely staying tuned to this one. Hope to see more.

  43. This is good info! Where else can if ind out more?? Who runs this joint too? Keep up the good work :)

  44. I am extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one these days.. :)

  45. Wow, amazing blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy.

  46. Hi, I just wanted to let you all know that there is a project being conducted at Harvard trying to compile the most effective arguments for and against Wikileaks. I think it’s a brilliant idea and would be an interesting read for many of you. http://www.voteonwikileaks.com

  47. I would like to start my own blog one day. This was a really nice blog that you made here. Keep up the success 😛

  48. Cutting Discovery Health is one of the biggest mistakes he Discovery family of channels has ever made. I love that channel and I love these shows: Dr. G; Trauma: Life in the ER, ER Untold Stories, Skeleton Stories, Mystery Diagnosis and other like this. I don’t mind saying I cannot stand Oprah Winfrey and looking at the lineup for this channel is a joke. I think you will find you are goig to lose many more viewers than you will pick up. Oprah Winfrey, Rosie O’Donnel and many other they plan to have shows on that network is nothing but liberals and those who believe in good wholesome values will not be watching. I am upset because I love the programming on this channel and wonder why Discovery made such a terrible decision to discontinue Discovery Health in favor of Gossip Rag TV/Opinion TV. I don’t watch those type shows and networks and I am not starting now. In my opinion there are already to many junk channels on our cable and satelite and on top of that the viewer get ripped anyhow because I work odd hours and Disovery Health was one of the few channels that actually showed programming in late night early mornings and no “Paid Infommercials” which in my opinion should be illegal anyhow because subscribers are paying for entertainmet not infommercials. I want to know where all the show I like are going. Are they just disconinuing them all and will no longer produce them? Are they moving them to another network? I wish I had some answers but I can tell you I am a 45 year old female who works and I will not once turn on the OWN (Overblown, Windbag Network). I want my Discovery Health. It was such a great network and now it is being tossed into the rubble pile for a network of crap. I can’t stand Dr. Phil, Oprah, certainly not Rosie “the rudest, crudest person on earth” O’Donnel, and anybody that would lower their standards to be on that netowrk I will never buy a another book as I have by Suzie Orman again. She can forget it. Bad career move Suzie. I am angry and have a right to be because I am a paying customer and people either love Oprah and her garbage or they hate her. Their is no in between. As I said earlier. Discovery is going to hit rock bottom with this network, but hey Oprah has enough money she can pay it to be on TV even if the rating suck. Thank you for asking your viewers what they want Discovery. You have basically ruined all your other channels because of instead of infomrative programming as you used to have you play crap like Animal cops for hours instead of nature programming or “the haunted”. What happened to Animal Planet, Then we have the infamous swamp logger and ax men. Well personally, I find their line of work revolting because they log in suck a way that they completely strip and ruin nature instead of select cutting. I disliked Oprah so bad that I couldn’t even watch you “Life” series becasue I cannot stand the sound of her voice. You should have chose someone less controversial. There are some great narrator out there. She is not one of them. SO PLEASE GIVE ALL OF US DISCOVERY HEALTH FANS A CLUE AS TO WHAT YOU ARE DOING WITH OUR FAVORITE CHANNEL ON TV. I guess Oprah gets her way as usual and we lose. I will make it a point to boycott all of your channels and I happen to be a Neilson Rater.

  49. Interesting layout on your blog. I really enjoyed reading it and also I will be back to read more in the future.

  50. This is good info! Where else can if ind out more?? Who runs this joint too? Keep up the good work :)

  51. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz reply back as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like to know wheere u got this from. thanks

  52. Nice blog here! Also your website loads up fast! What host are you using? I wish my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

  53. I love the expression. Everyone needs to express there own opinion and feel free to hear others. Keep it up :)

  54. I really like the colors here on your blog. did you design this yourself or did you outsource it to a professional?

  55. I love the way you write and also the theme on your blog. Did you code this yourself or was it done by a professional? I’m very very impressed.

  56. Love all the opinions expressed here! How is everyone? Love how everyone expresses whatr they feel :)

  57. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz reply back as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like to know wheere u got this from. thanks

  58. Great blog!! You should start many more. I love all the info provided. I will stay tuned :)

  59. You make blogging look like a walk in the park! I’ve been trying to blog daily but I just cant find writing material.. you’re an inspiration to me and i’m sure many others!

  60. I love the way you write and also the theme on your blog. Did you code this yourself or was it done by a professional? I’m very very impressed.

  61. Neat blog layout! Very easy on the eyes.. i like the colors you picked out

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