| Discovery Communications Inc. |
1 Discovery Pl.
Silver Spring, Md. 20910
Year founded: 1985
Revenue: $1.99 Billion
Net Income/Loss: n/a
Earnings per share: n/a
Stockholder equity: n/a
Market capitalization: n/a
52-week high: n/a
52-week low: n/a
Chairman and CEO: John S. Hendricks
President and COO: Judith A. McHale
Local employees: 2000
Description: Discovery Communications is a family of cable television networks seen by nearly 1 billion viewers in 154 countries. Channels include TLC: The Learning Channel, BBC America, the Travel Channel, the Discovery Channel and the Science Channel. The company also operates 120 retail stores.
Developments: Discovery runs what may be the hottest channels on cable. Last year the company got its highest ratings ever and produced breakout hits such as a spinoff of the popular "Trading Spaces," the Travel Channel's "World Poker Tour" and BBC America's comedy "The Office," which joined such continuing hits as Animal Planet's "Crocodile Hunter." Discovery received nine prime-time Emmy Award nominations in July. The networks, long thought of as education and documentary channels aimed at children, women and schoolteachers, have made a bold bid to overtake the male cable behemoths such as sports broadcaster ESPN and channels that show wrestling. For example, Discovery has received high ratings from shows such as "Monster Garage," "Monster House" and "American Chopper" and has high hopes for this year's "Animal Face-Off." Big ratings mean big revenue. Last year, Discovery earned $500 million on $2 billion in revenue, up from $415 million profits on $1.73 billion in 2002. Last year marked the first time Discovery's international assets became profitable. Founder John S. Hendricks announced in March that he will hand over the chief executive spot in June to Judith A. McHale, chief operating officer. Discovery is a privately held company, owned by Liberty Media Co., which also owns QVC home shopping channel and pieces of a number of other media companies; by Cox Communications, which owns cable, television and newspaper assets; by Advance Newhouse Communications, which owns Parade magazine; and by Hendricks, who founded Discovery in 1985. The company continued to be the focus of speculation that it would be acquired by a larger entity or go public. The company moved into its new high-rise headquarters in April last year.
© 2004 The Washington Post Company
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