David Zaslav – Innovative Leader

David Zaslav – Innovative Leader

Pulkit Sharma || The CEO Magazine

David M. Zaslav has been serving as the president and CEO of Discovery Inc from the last 12 years. He is known to be one of the greatest leaders of the company as Discovery has flourished under the leadership of Zaslav. Most recent success of Discovery under the tenure of Zaslav was when they acquire Scripps Networks in March 2018. Together these companies have around 20% ad-pay-TV viewership in the US and over 7 billion views on their videos monthly. Before coming to Discovery in 2007, he was working as an executive at NBC Universal. He was listed on Vanity Fair’s Establishment List in the year 2016 among the top 100 Wall Street Titans and cultural icons.


Early Life and Education

David Zaslav was born in Brooklyn, NYC to a Jewish family on 15 January 1960. He was a bright student during school and college days as he completed his B.A. in science from Binghamton University and later graduated as a Juris Doctor from Boston University in 1985. Initially, he wanted to peruse attorney as career so he worked with LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene and MacRae LLP in NYC but once he was appointed as a backup professor at Fordham University where he developed an interest for business of cable television.

David Zaslav in Discovery

Zaslav is leading the company since January 2007 and in 2008 Discovery went public on NASDAQ stock exchange.  Under the leadership of Zaslav, market value of Discovery went from $6 billion to $18 billion and Discovery posted a record cash flow, profit and revenue in the year 2016.

With the help of amazing strategies and efforts of Zaslav, Discovery has become a much stronger brand. The company has expanded its genres from just nonfiction to lifestyle, sports, kids and nonfiction as well for their loyal fans around the globe. There are almost 3 billion active viewers in over 220 countries who are watching Discovery.

Discover has seen many award-winning natural history specials like Planet Earth, Frozen Planet, Life and North America during the leadership of David Zaslav. They have also continued to air their top events like the Shark week as this is the original and longest-running weekly TV program.

Discovery Inc.

Discovery Inc. was established in 1985 as a mass media company based in NYC and it was formerly called Discovery Communications. Discovery as a brand is famous for its non-fiction and fact-based TV channels like Science Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, DIY Network, Food Network, HGTV, Discovery Family, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel and the Discovery Channel. They have also expanded their business to digital platforms like Nine Media Group, media channels for golf lover under the brand of Golf TV and Golf Digest and some education services under its education brand.

Discovery has also developed many local brands of its channels to reach a wider audience around the world. Some of its major regional channels are Eurosport which is a European sports channel, Discovery Nordic- it is a general channel that works in Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway, Lionsgate- an American and Canadian film studio and many more in different parts of the world.

Impact of Discovery

Under the leadership of David Zaslav, Discovery has expanded its social responsibilities. In this, Discovery allows everyone associated with them to make a difference in their respective communities and place where they live and work with the initiative ‘annual Discover Your Impact Day of global employee volunteerism’.

Zaslav was also honoured as the ‘Force of nature’ by (NRDC) Natural Resource Defence Council for his leadership skills which leads Discovery to not only corporate success but also for developing plans and events for the betterment of the planet.

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