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Discovery Ends Ted Koppel’s Deal

Nov 25, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Discovery Communications has ended its relationship with former ABC anchorman Ted Koppel, who has been preparing news specials and documentaries for Discovery Channel.
“There has been significant change in senior management at Discovery,” Mr. Koppel said in a statement. “Producing our kind of news-related programs is an expensive proposition.”
Mr. Koppel said it had been clear for a while that the three-year contract with Discovery was not going to be renewed.
“Discovery and I worked on terminating the contract a few months earlier under terms that both sides found acceptable,” Mr. Koppel said. “We leave with gratitude for the professional opportunities we’ve been given and for the generosity with which we’ve been treated.”
Under David Zaslav, who has been CEO of Discovery Communications since last year, the company has been focusing on non-news, non-fiction content that has a longer shelf life and appeals to global audiences.
“Ted and his colleagues are gifted storytellers who raise the journalistic bar for our entire industry. They will be missed at Discovery,” Discovery Channel President John Ford said.
Mr. Koppel and his production company, including executive producer Tom Bettag and eight other staffers from ABC’s “Nightline,” created seven original documentaries spanning 15 hours of programming for Discovery.
The programs included a four-hour series on China that appeared just before the Beijing Olympics, as well as “Living with Cancer.”
(Editor: Baumann)

6 Comments

  1. That’s too bad. Probably be replaced by another video clip show. More slippage for a once great brand.

  2. Maybe getting those costs off the books will raise the stock price. They sure could use it.

  3. I wonder if that means Ted will be the next host of Meet the Press.

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