Twenty-year veteran television executive Maureen Smith joins Animal Planet as evp/gm as of July 15, 2004. Smith will oversee all programming, development, production and operations and reports to Clark Bunting, evp, Discovery U.S. Networks Group at the channels Silver Spring, Maryland headquarters.
"We're thrilled to have Maureen, a true pioneer of family entertainment, join the Discovery Networks team," said Billy Campbell, president, Discovery Networks, U.S. "With her talent and wealth of experience, she will surely grow Animal Planet from its strong foundation to even greater success."
From the earliest days of Fox Broadcasting through Smiths simultaneous presidencies at Fox Family Channel (now ABC Family Channel) and Fox Kids Network, Smith is credited with turning around Fox Family Channel from an under-performing service to a solid ratings success, and establishing Fox Kids Network as the number one destination for boys' action and adventure.
Under her stewardship, the Fox Family Channel earned critical acclaim with the original series STATE OF GRACE, Emmy nominations for SO LITTLE TIME, starring Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen and ratings success with the original movies THREE DAYS, starring Kristin Davis, and MOMS ON STRIKE starring Faith Ford. Smith also oversaw FoxKids.com, the Fox Kids Club with 5.2 million members and served as editor-in-chief of the 4.2 million circulation FOX KIDS MAGAZINE.
Prior to leading both Fox Kids Network and Fox/ABC Family Channel, Smith served as evp, Fox Family Channel and gm, Fox Kids Network. She began her media career in 1986 as one of the original Fox Broadcasting employees, Smith spent 15 years moving up the ranks while honing her skills with positions in research, marketing, station affiliations, cable relations and primetime program scheduling.
Most recently, Smith served as co-creator and exec producer on a variety of projects with Taweel-Loos and Company Ent. and Ampersand Media. Smith joined TLC Ent. in May of 2002 after successfully transitioning Fox Family Channel to its new ownership under the Walt Disney Co.
Animal Planet (www.animal.discovery.com), available in more than 84 million homes nationwide, is the only television network dedicated exclusively to the connection between humans and animals. Discovery Networks, U.S., a unit of Discovery Communications, Inc., operates and manages the Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, the Travel Channel, Discovery Health Channel, Discovery HD Theater, Discovery Kids Channel, Discovery Times Channel, The Science Channel, Discovery Wings Channel, Discovery Home Channel, Discovery en Espanol and FitTV. The unit also distributes BBC AMERICA.