Paris, 14 September 2017 – MIPCOM organiser Reed MIDEM today announces that Discovery Communications President and CEO David Zaslav will be honoured as the MIPCOM 2017 Personality of the Year during a Gala Dinner on Wednesday, October 18 at the InterContinental Carlton Hotel.
“David Zaslav is the visionary leader of one of our industry’s most dynamic and innovative companies. He continues to redefine great content and how viewers consume it in a fast-evolving marketplace. We are proud to honour him as MIPCOM 2017’s Personality of the Year,” said Reed MIDEM’s Chief Executive Paul Zilk.
Since joining as CEO in 2007, Zaslav has transformed Discovery into a global leader in real-life entertainment, reaching 3 billion cumulative viewers around the world. Under his leadership, Discovery began trading as a public company in 2008 and became a Fortune 500 company in 2014.
Most recently under Zaslav, Discovery announced an agreement to acquire Scripps Networks Interactive, in a deal which is expected to close in early 2018. Together, the two companies will comprise a world-class portfolio of brands and become home to five of the top female networks, delivering over 20% share of women watching primetime in the U.S., nearly 20% of ad-supported pay-TV viewership in the U.S. and over 7 billion streams.
Led by Zaslav, Discovery has launched some of the fastest-growing cable networks in the U.S., including Investigation Discovery and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, as well as numerous other channels around the world. He is credited with expanding Discovery’s range of content genres and brands through investments including Discovery Kids, the leading pre-school network in Latin America, and through the acquisition of Eurosport, which under his leadership became home to the Olympic Games in Europe through 2024.
Zaslav has also sought to position Discovery for a vibrant digital future, investing in new digital distribution platforms and content formats to ensure Discovery reaches every person across every screen and new platform. These investments include the creation of Group Nine Media, home to leading short-form brands such as NowThis and The Dodo; OTT offering Eurosport Player; TV Everywhere products including the GO portfolio of apps in the U.S. and Discovery K!ds Play in Latin America; and in August 2017, the formation of a joint venture between Discovery and TEN: The Enthusiast Network. The venture brings together content from Discovery’s Velocity channel with leading automotive media brands such as Motor Trend and Hot Rod and creates Discovery’s first direct-to-consumer offering in the U.S.
Zaslav also is at the forefront of Discovery’s purpose-driven work, including Project C.A.T., Conserving Acres for Tigers, a partnership established in 2016 to help double the world’s wild tiger population by 2022. Before joining Discovery, Zaslav had a distinguished career at NBCUniversal, where among other accomplishments he led the launch of CNBC and MSNBC.
“It’s a tremendous honor to receive the MIPCOM 2017 Personality of the Year award, particularly during such an exciting time for our global business,” commented Zaslav. “I am fortunate to lead a company at the centre of our industry’s transformation as we push to innovate our world-class content and brands and nourish superfan audiences across every screen and service around the globe.”
In addition to receiving the MIPCOM Personality of the Year award, Zaslav will give a Media Mastermind keynote address on Wednesday, October 18 at 2.30pm in the Palais des Festivals’ Grand Auditorium.
David Zaslav joins a prestigious list of MIPCOM Personalities of the Year that includes Dana Walden and Gary Newman, Ted Turner, Pierre Lescure, Anne Sweeney, Leslie Moonves, Sumner Redstone, Jeffrey Katzenberg and most recently, Shonda Rhimes. The 33rd annual MIPCOM, the world’s entertainment content market, will be held on 16-19 October 2017 at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, France.
About Reed MIDEM – Founded in 1963, Reed MIDEM is an organiser of professional, international markets that are essential business platforms for key players in the sectors concerned. These sectors are MIPTV, MIPDOC, MIPCOM, MIPJUNIOR in Cannes, MIP China in Hangzhou and MIP Cancun in Mexico for the television and digital content industries; MIDEM in Cannes for music professionals; Esports BAR in Cannes and in Miami for the esports business; MIPIM in Cannes, MIPIM UK in London, MIPIM Asia Summit in Hong Kong and MIPIM PropTech Summit in New York for the real estate industry; MAPIC in Cannes, MAPIC Russia in Moscow, MAPIC Italy in Milan, MAPIC China Summit in Shanghai and IRF brought by MAPIC in Mumbai for the retail real estate sector.
About Reed Exhibitions – Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events organiser, with over 500 events in over 30 countries. In 2016 Reed brought together over seven million event participants from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organised by 38 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 43 industry sectors with trade and consumer events. It is part of RELX Group, a global provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries.