Washington, DC – April 15, 2014 – The National Geographic Channels today announced several senior leadership changes at the company. Gary E. Knell, President and CEO of the National Geographic Society, and Peter Rice, Chairman and CEO of Fox Networks Group, on behalf of the Board of Directors of National Geographic Channels, made the announcements jointly.
Courteney Monroe, who has served as Chief Marketing Officer for National Geographic Channels’ domestic networks since joining the company in January 2012, has been named CEO, National Geographic Channels U.S., effective May 1. In her new role, Ms. Monroe will report to the Board of Directors of the National Geographic Channels.
David Hill, who currently serves as Senior Executive Vice President of 21st Century Fox and a member of the National Geographic Channels Board of Directors, will now add the title of Chairman of National Geographic Channels U.S., a role in which he will provide counsel to the executive and programming leadership team. Mr. Hill will remain a member of the NGC Board and also continue to play a leadership role in the production of “American Idol.”
David Lyle, who has served as CEO of National Geographic Channels since 2011, will step down, handing over to Ms. Monroe and Mr. Hill.
As CEO, Ms. Monroe will be responsible for all operations of the domestic National Geographic Channels, which are owned by a partnership between Fox Networks Group and the National Geographic Society. The U.S. channels include National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD and Nat Geo MUNDO.
“Courteney is a truly remarkable executive, with a proven track record of energizing programming brands – both here at National Geographic Channels and during her time at HBO,” Mr. Rice and Mr. Knell said in a joint statement. “She is also a proven leader, who has a clear vision of the television landscape, and we are very lucky to have her overseeing our domestic channels.”
“During my tenure as CMO at the National Geographic Channels, I have seen the power of this brand, and am excited by the opportunity to grow these networks, both creatively and commercially, for our partners and our advertisers,” said Monroe. “Being part of the team that laid such a strong foundation over the past few years has given me invaluable insight into what it is going to take to get us to the next level.”
In her previous role as Chief Marketing Officer, Ms. Monroe led the Channels’ brand and all aspects of marketing – including brand strategy, creative, consumer marketing, digital platforms, social media, partnership marketing and ad sales marketing. In October 2013, she also added to her oversight communications, public affairs, education outreach and events. As CMO, she oversaw the campaigns that launched the network’s top series “Brain Games” and “Wicked Tuna,” and developed the strategic consumer campaigns that broke records on the scripted front with “Killing Lincoln” and “Killing Kennedy.”
Prior to joining National Geographic Channels, she was executive vice president, Consumer Marketing and Digital Platforms, for Home Box Office, responsible for the marketing of the HBO and Cinemax brands and their programming across all platforms. She led the development, deployment and marketing of HBOGO and MAXGO, the company’s digital streaming services. She first joined HBO in 1998 and previously held roles at advertising firm BBDO, American Express and Salomon Brothers.
During Mr. Lyle’s three years as CEO, he built a team and drove a strategy that launched the network’s global, groundbreaking franchise series, including the Emmy-nominated “Brain Games” along with the network’s “smartertainment” genre; and “Wicked Tuna,” “Inside Combat Rescue,” “Life Below Zero” and six of the most-watched series in the network’s history. Additionally, he oversaw NGC’s first foray into scripted programming with “SEAL Team Six,” the Emmy-nominated “Killing Lincoln” and DGA-, WGA-, PGA- and SAG-nominated “Killing Kennedy”; and the amazing, critically acclaimed “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.”
“David Lyle led National Geographic Channels U.S. through a period of tremendous commercial and creative growth, including the highest-rated period in the channel’s history,” said Mr. Rice and Mr. Knell. “We will be forever grateful to David for his efforts and we join the entire National Geographic family in wishing him the best in his future endeavors.”
Mr. Rice continued, “David Lyle has been an integral part of the Fox family for many years. He created the Fox Reality Channel and FOX Look, which produced and licensed unscripted formats for sale around the world. Of equal import was his work while president of Entertainment, FremantleMedia, where he was a key leader of the team that launched and guided ‘American Idol’ through its first three years of phenomenal growth. On behalf of my colleagues at Fox, I would like to personally thank David for all his contributions to our company over the years.”
Added Mr. Knell: “Since my first day as CEO of the society in January, David’s dedication, professionalism and passion for these channels was evident. I personally want to thank him for bringing together the team that has taken the channels to where they are today. I am thrilled we have Courteney to jump in and take the reins, and am confident we are poised for future success with her at the helm.”
“I am very happy with the success that our teams in D.C. and in the new offices in L.A. and N.Y. had in bringing a fresh era of entertainment to the traditional authenticity of National Geographic,” said Lyle. “Both Nat Geo WILD and National Geographic Channel have introduced great franchise series that stand them in good stead for the future.”
David Hill is a legend in the broadcast and pay-television business. Having originally joined Fox Broadcasting in 1993 as the first President of FOX Sports, he has been at the forefront of creative and technological innovation for both over-the-air and satellite television for three decades. During that time he has served as Chairman and CEO of the Fox Broadcasting Company, President of DirecTV’s entertainment division and Chairman and COO/Executive Producer of the National Geographic Channel, all while maintaining his duties at FOX Sports, where he was named Chairman and CEO. In his current role as Senior Executive Vice President, 21st Century Fox, Mr. Hill provides senior strategic counsel to programming and production executives across the company’s vast film and television portfolio.
Mr. Knell and Mr. Rice commented, “Over the past several decades David Hill has continually demonstrated his unique gift for live-action and scripted storytelling. His work for FOX Sports alone would fill volumes, and he will continue to be an unparalleled asset to the board, now at an elevated level, as well as an invaluable advisor to our channels team. We could not be more delighted to have his creative counsel.”
Chris Albert, National Geographic Channels, 202-912-6526, firstname.lastname@example.org
Scott Grogin, Fox Networks Group, 310-369-4733, email@example.com
Betty Hudson, National Geographic Society, 202-828-6643, firstname.lastname@example.org
Fox Networks Group is a primary operating unit of 21st Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA) and consists of Fox Broadcasting Company (FOX), FOX Sports Media Group, the company’s national and regional cable programming services, FOX International Channels and Fox Networks Engineering & Operations. These units produce, program and transmit much of America’s most popular entertainment, sports and information content via 44 owned-and-operated and joint venture TV networks, video on demand and other media platforms. FOX is America’s most popular network; Fox Networks Group cable channels span FX, FXX, FXM, National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo Mundo, FSN and 22 regional cable sports networks, FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2, FOX Soccer Plus, FOX College Sports, FOX Deportes, FOX Life, Baby TV, BTN (co-venture with the Big Ten Conference), additionally digital extensions including BTN2Go, FOX Sports GO, FXNOW, and Nat Geo TV. FOX International Channels features U.S. Spanish-language broadcast net MundoFox, in addition to more than 300 networks delivered in 48 languages across Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa. The division also includes Fox Sports Enterprises, which manages interests in sports franchises and leading statistical information provider STATS, LLC.
The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” the member-supported Society’s mission is to inspire people to care about the planet. Through its online community, members can get closer to explorers and photographers, connect with other members around the world and help make a difference. National Geographic reflects the world through its magazines, television programs, films, music and radio, books, DVDs, maps, exhibitions, live events, school publishing programs, interactive media and merchandise. National Geographic magazine, the Society’s official journal, published in English and 39 local-language editions, is read by more than 60 million people each month. The National Geographic Channel reaches 440 million households in 171 countries in 38 languages. National Geographic Digital Media receives more than 27 million visitors a month. National Geographic has funded more than 10,000 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program promoting geography literacy. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.com.
National Geographic Channels – Based at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., the National Geographic Channels US are a joint venture between National Geographic and Fox Cable Networks. The Channels contribute to the National Geographic Society’s commitment to exploration, conservation and education with smart, innovative programming and profits that directly support its mission. Launched in January 2001, National Geographic Channel (NGC) celebrated its fifth anniversary with the debut of NGC HD. In 2010, the wildlife and natural history cable channel Nat Geo WILD was launched, and in 2011, the Spanish-language network Nat Geo Mundo was unveiled. The Channels have carriage with all of the nation’s major cable, telco and satellite television providers, with NGC currently available in 84 million U.S. homes. Globally, National Geographic Channel is available in 440 million homes in 171 countries and 38 languages. For more information, visit www.natgeotv.com.