Rumblings about the future of cabsat net Discovery Kids US have been swirling around since early February, when long-time VP of programming and operations, Dea Perez, vacated her position. She’s since started up her own kids media consultancy, and we can report that the New York-based content department and operations for the channel have been integrated into Discovery Kids Latin America.
Alongside this move, Discovery Networks Latin America/US Hispanic division has taken on ad sales for DK US, having started the transition this past January. Heading up the newly merged operation is Luis Silberwasser, SVP and GM of the content group at Discovery Networks Latin America & US Hispanic. He says integrating the teams will help the network share programming and creative strategies across territories as well as gain efficiencies.
‘We look to continue to strengthen Discovery Kids in the United States by harnessing the knowledge, experience and relationships that have helped us grow the channel in Latin America,’ says Silberwasser.
Bilai Joa Silar, VP and channel director for Discovery Kids Latin America, has taken over Perez’s duties and now reports directly to Silberwasser. She’ll also oversee programming and marketing for both Discovery Kids US and Latin America and, moving forward, is the key point of contact for those looking to pitch co-productions and acquisitions. Other in-house personnel being shuffled in the transition include Martha Ripp Cohen and Pamela Ross, formerly with Discovery Kids/Animal Planet US production. Both execs are now focusing exclusively on Animal Planet and reporting directly to Kevin Mohs, VP of production at the channel.
Marketing director of Discovery Kids US Kim Leibowitz, however, will remain in New York and is going to work closely with a new dedicated ad sales kids group that will be split between New York and Miami.
A network spokesperson says that there will be no immediate changes to the Discovery Kids US programming sked currently airing on the channel that reaches 62 million households State-side. So expect to see Adventure Camp, Mystery Hunters, DinoSapien, Tutenstein, Growing Up Creepie, Grossology, Peep and the Big Wide World, Hi-5, Wilbur, Darcy’s Wild Life, Bindi the Jungle Girl, and The Future is Wild to continue gracing the airwaves. That said, the channel is currently re-evaluating the programming lineup and strategy in preparation for the US advertising upfront season, which gets underway this month. The net will also be taking pitches for original productions and co-productions as it strategizes for the event.