Discovery Communications Has Partnered With Oprah and Hasbro. Is The Company Now Looking to Partner with Ben SIlverman and Barry Diller on One of Its Channels?

Feb 25, 2010  •  Post A Comment

Barry Diller and Ben Silverman want to buy a piece of one of Discovery Communications’ cable channels, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The two media entrepreneurs have proposed a joint venture with Discovery for FitTV, the Times said, citing a source. The small channel, which is available in just 50 million homes, has big plans for growth.

Recently, as part of our TVWeek special report naming Discovery the Cable TV Programmer of the Decade, we interviewed Laura Michalchyshyn, who was put in charge of FitTV in December. Here’s what she said:

"I am now running FitTV. Which is really interesting because Fit is a channel that, right now as we all know it, is kind of about wellness, exercise, getting in shape. It’s a channel that, in the future, is an opportunity for Discovery. And that’s one of the key messages from David [Zaslav, Discovery CEO]—that this is a channel that he sees as having great growth potential. So we’re gonna spend the next while, probably six to 12 months, strategizing. It’s so new, I can’t even tell you what it will be, but there are some great opportunities and ideas for what Fit could be in the future."

Ben Silverman, when he ran his former company, Reveille, produced a fitness-related show, "The Biggest Loser," which is a hit on NBC.

Furthermore, the Times told this anecdote to illustrate Silverman’s interest in fitness: "[O]nce, while Silverman was having lunch at the Burbank eatery Mo’s, he sent a hapless waiter back to the kitchen when he attempted to serve Silverman and his party gourmet burgers with buns. Silverman said with disdain: ‘Do we look like people who eat buns?’ "

–Elizabeth Jensen and Chuck Ross

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