Discovery Shifts Focus to Streaming in U.K. Restructure

Naman Ramachandran
·2-min read

Discovery U.K. is undergoing a major restructure that will see the company expand focus on streamer Discovery Plus, which was launched last year.

Discovery’s linear channel teams will be merged with those of the streamer — a move that could result in a 10% cull of its 100-strong U.K. work force. Should the headcount reduce, it is not immediately clear which departments will be affected.

More from Variety

The plans were revealed by Discovery executive VP James Gibbons in a virtual town hall with employees on Thursday.

As part of the restructuring senior VP and head of lifestyle and entertainment brands Clare Laycock will take additional charge of Discovery’s program planning, media planning, and audience measurement teams under the title senior VP planning, lifestyle and entertainment head of content.

Discovery head of factual and sports Simon Downing will also be in charge of linear and digital marketing and communications, and creative services, operating with the title of senior VP marketing, factual and sports head of content.

Commissioning editor Charlotte Reid is promoted to the new role of VP, lifestyle and entertainment commissioning.

“We are reorganizing the U.K. business to position it for continued success in the fast evolving TV and streaming world,” a Discovery spokesperson told Variety. “The Discovery Plus and linear TV marketing, content and insights teams have been combined to focus on driving value for consumers across all platforms.”

Discovery Plus, which now has more than 11 million subscribers globally, has been rapidly expanding original content. Recent commissions include a reinvestigation of the Madeleine McCann disappearance case, as well as specials focusing on Michael Jackson, U.S. family killer Chris Watts and serial killer Ted Bundy.

News of the Discovery U.K. restructuring was first reported by Broadcast.

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.