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Discovery Communications Promotes Robert S. Scanlon to Executive Vice President and General Manager of Velocity and Automotive Content

May 16, 2016

Contact - Andrew Scafetta

Discovery Communications today announced the promotion of Robert S. Scanlon to Executive Vice President and General Manager of Velocity and Automotive Content. As such Scanlon leads the programming, development, production, marketing and communications for Velocity, and is charged with developing automotive content globally for Discovery Communications. Scanlon will continue reporting to Marjorie Kaplan, President of Content for Discovery Networks International.

Scanlon has steered Velocity to become one of the fastest growing networks in cable television. Under his guidance, the network’s revenues have tripled and ratings among its target M25-54 demo have doubled since launch in October 2011. Last year, the network celebrated its best year ever as the #1 network for Men among its distribution tier* and earned its highest-delivering and highest-rated year across several demos.

Velocity’s foot is firmly on the gas in 2016 as the #1 Primetime network for Men among its distribution tier*, as well as having delivered its best Primetime quarter ever in 1Q16, and high single and double-digit ratings increases in Primetime and Total Day in April 2016. The gains in 2016 have been fueled in part by the performance of Velocity’s BARRETT-JACKSON LIVE from Scottsdale and Palm Beach which combined to attract 11.3 million people in real-time. The stalwart franchise WHEELER DEALERS along with the inaugural seasons of the original series UNIQUE RIDES and IRON RESURRECTION helped drive ratings gains in the first several months of 2016.

“I’ve always thought of Bob as the quintessential ‘Velocity Man’. He’s the ultimate representative of the brand,” said Kaplan. “Beyond that Bob is an outstanding creative, strategic leader whose vision, knowledge of and passion for cars are the critical parts driving Velocity’s growth engine. I’m excited to continue partnering with him in bringing Velocity to audiences worldwide.”

“Bob has built a special network in Velocity that has grown substantially, and nurtures a very passionate, loyal group of super fans as their #1 destination for car content,” added David Zaslav, President and CEO, Discovery Communications. “We’re approaching Velocity’s five year anniversary this October, I look forward to seeing what Bob and his terrific team do over the next five years.”

Driving Velocity’s rise since 2011 are popular original series including BITCHIN’ RIDES, FANTOMWORKS, JUNKYARD EMPIRE and GARAGE SQUAD in addition to stalwart franchises like CHASING CLASSIC CARS, ALL GIRLS GARAGE, CAR FIX, GRAVEYARD CARZ and the recently retired OVERHAULIN’. Under Scanlon’s watch the network has broken ratings records with BARRETT-JACKSON LIVE in 2015 and the 2012 special SPACE JUMP LIVE, which the collaborative Velocity, Discovery Channel and Red Bull team received a Sports Emmy® – the ninth such award of Scanlon’s career. Scanlon also brought in celebrated actor Patrick Dempsey for the 2013 miniseries PATRICK DEMPSEY: RACING LE MANS that chronicled his drive to join Steve McQueen and Paul Newman as the only actors to compete in the demanding, legendary Le Mans race.

Prior to Velocity, Scanlon served as vice president in the Discovery Communications Emerging Networks Group where his responsibilities included program development and production for Military Channel and HD Theater.

As a 36-year veteran of media, cable and broadcast network television, Scanlon was recruited by the N.F.L. to manage the creation and launch of the N.F.L. Network before joining Discovery Communications. Previously, he was part of founding management at Speedvision Network and Outdoor Life Network where he planned the staffing, programming, production and network operation of the channels.

In 1979 Scanlon was one of the first 35 employees at upstart network ESPN where he was immediately involved in every aspect of the company from the construction of the broadcast facility to overseeing programming and network operations. During his 16-year tenure at ESPN, Scanlon served as senior coordinating producer for motorsports and as the executive in charge of production for college football and Major League Baseball studio production. Scanlon’s contributions included the development of the live cut-in during the NCAA College Basketball tournament.  Before joining ESPN, Scanlon worked at ABC Sports and News under Roone Arledge after beginning his career at HBO.

Scanlon graduated from Ithaca College with a dual major in Television/Radio and Business Administration (B.S. 1974). He is based out of Discovery Communications headquarters in Silver Spring, Md.

Among networks with subscribers under 70 million households
Barrett-Jackson Live, L+SD, 1/26-4/10/16, P2+

About Velocity
Velocity, a division of Discovery Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), is the only upscale men's cable network that focuses on thrilling automotive for its viewers. Velocity programming is diverse, intelligent and engaging; capturing the best of the human experience as told by the top experts in the field. Formerly HD Theater, the fully HD network is available in 68 million homes. For more information on Velocity, please visit, on Facebook at or on Twitter @Velocity.

About Discovery Communications
Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is the leader in global entertainment reaching 3 billion cumulative viewers in more than 220 countries and territories. Discovery satisfies curiosity, entertains and inspires viewers with high-quality content through global brands, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Animal Planet, Science and Turbo/Velocity, as well as U.S. joint venture network OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, and through the Discovery Digital Networks portfolio, including Seeker and SourceFed. Discovery owns Eurosport, the leading pan-regional sports entertainment destination across Europe and Asia-Pacific. Discovery also is a leading provider of educational products and services to schools, including an award-winning series of K-12 digital textbooks, through Discovery Education. For more information, please visit