David Zaslav

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David Zaslav
BornJanuary 15, 1960 (1960-01-15) (age 61)
Alma materBinghamton University
Boston University School of Law
OccupationPresident and CEO, Discovery, Inc.
EmployerDiscovery, Inc.

David M. Zaslav (born January 15, 1960)[1] is the president and chief executive officer of Discovery Inc., a position he has held since January 2007.[2][3]

Most recently under Zaslav, Discovery acquired Scripps Networks Interactive, in a transaction which closed in March 2018.[4] He was previously an executive at NBCUniversal.[2][5]

Early life and education[edit]

Zaslav was born to a Jewish family[6][7][8] in Brooklyn, New York.[9] At the age of 8, he moved to Rockland County (NY) where he graduated from Ramapo High School.[10][11] He was captain of the varsity tennis team.[12]

Zaslav earned a bachelor of science degree from Binghamton University.

Following this, he graduated from Boston University School of Law with a JD with honors in 1985 and started his career as an attorney with LeBoeuf, Lamb, Lieby and MacRae in New York.[13]


NBC Universal[edit]

Zaslav joined NBC in 1989.[14] As president of Cable and Domestic TV and New Media Distribution, he oversaw content distribution to all forms of TV, negotiated for cable and satellite carriage of NBC Universal networks and forged media partnerships.[citation needed]

His responsibilities extended to Bravo, CNBC World, SCI FI, ShopNBC, Sleuth, Telemundo, Telemundo Puerto Rico, mun2, Trio, Universal HD, USA Network, NBC Weather Plus and the Olympics on cable.

Zaslav also oversaw NBC Universal's interests in A&E, The History Channel, The Biography Channel, National Geographic International, the Sundance Channel and TiVo.[citation needed]

Discovery Inc.[edit]

Zaslav became CEO of Discovery Communications in January 2007.[15] Zaslav instigated a shift in strategy by the company, aiming to see itself as a "content company" rather than a "cable company" by bolstering its main networks (such as its namesake Discovery Channel) as multi-platform brands.[16] As CEO, Zaslav oversaw the development and launch of new networks such as Planet Green (later rebranded as Destination America),[17] The Hub,[18][19] Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN),[20] Velocity,[21][22] and Investigation Discovery,[23] as well as the company's 2018 acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive,[24] expansion of its digital education operations,[25] and current emphasis on streaming services.[26]

In May 2021, it was announced that Zaslav would serve as CEO of a proposed merger of Discovery with a spin-out of AT&T's WarnerMedia.[27][28]

Boards and other activities[edit]

Zaslav serves on the boards of Sirius XM., Lionsgate, the NCTA, The Cable Center, Center for Communication, Grupo Televisa, Partnership for New York City, Syracuse University, and USC Shoah Foundation.[29] He also is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Paley Center for Media and the Mt. Sinai Medical Center.[30] He is chair of the Auschwitz: The Past Is Present Committee which promotes awareness of the Holocaust.[6][7][31] In 2012, he received the Steven J. Ross Humanitarian Award from the UJA-Federation of New York[32] which honors people of vision, energy and sustained achievement in the entertainment, media and communications industries.[33]

In 2014, Zaslav was awarded the Fred Dressler Leadership Award by Syracuse University's S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.[29][13]

David Zaslav was awarded the Susan Newhouse & SI Newhouse Award of Hope for his support of the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD) in September 2016.[34]

In 2017, Zaslav was inducted into the Cable Hall of Fame.[35]

In 2018, Zaslav received the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Award.[36]

Personal life[edit]

Zaslav lives in New York City with his wife Pam and the couple has three children.[29][37]


  1. ^ Zaslav, David. "Discovery Communications 2011 Proxy Filing". Securities and Exchange Commission.
  2. ^ a b David M. Zaslav Archived December 27, 2010, at the Wayback Machine Discovery Corporate website.
  3. ^ "David M. Zaslav Profile". Business Week.
  4. ^ "Discovery completes Scripps deal, targets OTT opportunities". Digital TV Europe. March 7, 2018. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  5. ^ "David M. Zaslav Profile". Forbes, Age 52 (2012).
  6. ^ a b Variety Magazine: "Industry Heavyweights Support Auschwitz 70th Anniversary Commemoration" by Cynthia Littleton January 24, 2015 |His grandparents and other extended family were fortunate to have fled their homeland before the Nazi extermination campaign began in the early 1940s.
  7. ^ a b Jewish Business News: "Steven Spielberg And David Zaslav Commemorate Auschwitz Liberation 70th Anniversary" January 25, 2015
  8. ^ Algemeiner Journal: "Hollywood Heavyweights to Join Spielberg at Auschwitz Commemoration Ceremony in Poland" January 25, 2015 |"When I was a kid I learned in temple the mantra of ‘Never again.’ But there has been genocide since the Holocaust..."There is persecution because of religion and ethnicity. This is a moment to realize that we as a global society have to stand together."
  9. ^ The Cable Center: "David Zaslav: Oral and Video Collection Interview" June 12, 2013
  10. ^ "David Zaslav 2004 Oral and Video History". www.cablecenter.org. Retrieved March 3, 2021.
  11. ^ Parker, Garrett (September 1, 2016). "10 Things You Didn't Know About David Zaslav". Money Inc. Retrieved March 3, 2021.
  12. ^ "MIPCOM: Discovery CEO David Zaslav Celebrated as Personality of the Year". The Hollywood Reporter.
  13. ^ a b http://corporate.discovery.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/DZ-bio-8.7.15.pdf[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ Siklos, Richard (November 17, 2006). "New Chief at Discovery Is 2nd Senior Executive to Leave NBC This Week". The New York Times. Retrieved May 17, 2021 – via ProQuest.
  15. ^ Ahrens, Frank (November 17, 2006). "Discovery Appoints New Chief". The Washington Post.
  16. ^ "Zaslav Holds To Growth Plan At Discovery". Mediapost. Retrieved April 15, 2019.
  17. ^ "Planet Green Moves Away From Its Eco Theme". The New York Times. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  18. ^ Owens, Rob (October 10, 2010). "Tuned In: The Hub Network Offers Programs for Younger Children". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved October 10, 2010.
  19. ^ "A Children's Channel Retools". The New York Times. October 10, 2010. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
  20. ^ "Discovery, Winfrey to Team Up On Network". Washington Post. Retrieved April 29, 2017.
  21. ^ Richmond, Ray (July 29, 2011). "TCA: Discovery Sets Launch Date For Velocity, Adds Big Names to 'Curiosity', Preps Science Channel's 'Trek Nation', Introduces 'Weed' Team". Deadline Hollywood.
  22. ^ D.M. Levine (April 18, 2011). "Discovery Launches Velocity Channel, Aimed at Rich Men". Adweek.
  23. ^ Ahrens, Frank (November 27, 2007). "Discovery Hopes for Payoff on Crime Channel". The Washington Post.
  24. ^ Szalai, Georg (March 6, 2018). "Discovery Closes Scripps Acquisition, Creating Non-scripted Content Giant". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 6, 2018.
  25. ^ Barnes, Brooks; Chozick, Amy (August 20, 2012). "Media Companies, Seeing Profit Slip, Push Into Education (Published 2012)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 7, 2020.
  26. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (April 10, 2018). "Discovery Rebrands Velocity as Motor Trend Network (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved October 27, 2019.
  27. ^ Meredith, Steve Kovach,Sam (May 17, 2021). "AT&T announces $43 billion deal to merge WarnerMedia with Discovery". CNBC. Retrieved May 17, 2021.
  28. ^ Hayes, Dade (May 17, 2021). "David Zaslav And John Stankey Outline Plans For Merging Discovery And WarnerMedia, Addressing Future Of Jason Kilar, CNN, Streaming". Deadline. Retrieved May 17, 2021.
  29. ^ a b c "Seven New Members Elected to University's Board of Trustees". SU News. May 24, 2021. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  30. ^ "Leadership – Discovery, Inc". corporate.discovery.com. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  31. ^ CableFax: "Never Forget: Zaslav, Spielberg Help Commemorate Auschwitz’s Liberation" January 26, 2015 | "Driving awareness and remembrance of the Holocaust for future generations is critical, especially as we lose more survivors and witnesses with each passing day"
  32. ^ UJA-Federation of New York: "Oprah, Wiesel Honor Zaslav at Leadership Awards Dinner" April 2, 2012
  33. ^ "Oprah, Wiesel Honor Zaslav at Leadership Awards Dinner". ujafedny.org. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  34. ^ "AFTD's Inaugural Hope Rising Benefit". Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
  35. ^ "The Cable Center – David M. Zaslav". cablecenter.org. Retrieved May 10, 2017.
  36. ^ "Barack Obama receives RFK Human Rights award at NYC gala". New York Post. Associated Press. December 13, 2018. Retrieved January 12, 2019.
  37. ^ https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/business/story/2021-05-17/he-built-food-network-hgtv-now-hes-going-to-run-warnermedia-who-is-david-zaslav