David M. Zaslav
(born January 15, 1960) is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Discovery Communications, a position he has held since January 2007. He was previously an executive at NBC Universal.
Zaslav earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Binghamton University. Following this, he graduated with honors (JD) from Boston University School of Law in 1985 and started his career as an attorney with LeBoeuf, Lamb, Lieby and MacRae in New York.
Zaslav had a distinguished career at NBC, spanning nearly two decades. Joining in 1989, he was instrumental in developing and launching CNBC, MSNBC and negotiating landmark deals on behalf of NBCU with DirecTV, Comcast and Time Warner. Zaslav was on the forefront of bringing films and TV shows to consumers through new platforms. As president of Cable and Domestic TV and New Media Distribution, he oversaw content distribution to all forms of TV, led negotiations for cable and satellite carriage of NBC Universal networks and forged innovative new media partnerships, including a pioneering video-on-demand deal with the leading cable operator, Comcast.
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.
Zaslav took the helm at in January 2007 and set the company on course for a rapid transformation, with a dedicated focus on growth, performance and operational efficiency. Under his leadership in 2008, Discovery began trading as a public company on the Nasdaq stock exchange. Since that time, Discovery’s market capitalization has grown from less than $6 billion to approximately $30 billion.
Zaslav has spearheaded strategic efforts to clarify and strengthen Discovery's world-class brands, including a renewed focus on creativity and a two-fold increase in investment in original content. These efforts have helped drive viewership share growth of Discovery’s networks from 7% in 2008 to 11% in 2014 in the U.S. alone, and 2.8 billion cumulative subscribers in over 220 countries worldwide.
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