Al Jazeera America Closes. Other Quality Channels That Folded

Al Jazeera America’s closure is a sad moment for the documentary community. AJ’s documentary team led by Diana El-Osta and Cynthia Kane has supported quality films that are finding fewer slots elsewhere in the North American channels landscape. In fact, we were working this week with AJA on a Case Study of an important documentary …

Nat Geo 3.0: Reorg + Takeaways / Showtime Ups Docs

Two press releases jumped out this week: one from Nat Geo and the other from Showtime. First off, National Geographic Partners announced its senior leadership team. NG Partners is the entity formed in September when the venerable National Geographic Society (Nat Geo 1.0) sold its stake in the channels as well as its magazine and …

National Geographic Society: Layoffs Prior to Expanded Partnership with Fox

The National Geographic Society has announced the largest employee layoff in its venerable history. The move comes weeks before NGS expands its content partnership with Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox. The Washington Post‘s Paul Farhi covers the layoffs here. The headline: “National Geographic chief says layoffs done to avert financial derailment.” Watch out for coverage of …

POV Revealed (2/2): The Filters & Selection Process. What Are Your Odds of Success?

We continue our updated coverage of POV, the flagship PBS documentary strand with a peak audience of 1.9Mn viewers. In this post: What is POV’s selection process, from Open Call to Offer? The Filters. Timeline? Who decides? What are your odds? Read POV Revealed, Part 1. Also: POV‘s 2015 and 2014 selections. SELECTION PROCESS Filters: Great non-fiction storytelling. Address social …

Discovery Founder John Hendricks Launches SVOD Factual Service, CuriosityStream. Meet Curiosity President Elizabeth Hendricks North at MIPDoc.

A welcome new face at MIPDoc was Elizabeth Hendricks North, President of Curiosity Project LLC. She was in Cannes to promote the ad-free Subscription VOD (SVOD) service CuriosityStream, launched in March to focus on premium factual content. Elizabeth’s father is Discovery Channel founder and industry legend John Hendricks. Mission The CuriosityStream mission is to apply …

Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav’s Compensation in 2014: $156 Million

According to last Friday’s regulatory filing by Discovery Communications, in the first year of his new contract, CEO David Zaslav earned $156.1 million, up from $33.3 million in 2013. The package covers: $3 million in salary. $94.6 million in stock awards that vest over six years if Discovery achieves certain goals. $50.5 million in option …