Discovery Communications appoints Rebecca Kent as general manager, Australia and New Zealand. In her new role, she reports into James Gibbons, executive vice president, general manager UK, Australia and New Zealand & head of commercial development EMEA.
Kent will focus on growing the existing business, which consists of eight channels in Australia and six channels in New Zealand.
Over the last nine months, Kent has been the acting general manager of Australia and New Zealand following the departure of Mandy Pattinson earlier this year.
Kent previously held the role of vice president, business transformation & people based in Discovery’s Singapore office where she focused on new ways to grow Discovery’s business across Asia. She also spent three years working for Discovery in London managing several operational projects including a review of Discovery’s Olympic broadcast plans and a review of Discovery’s India broadcast operations.
Kent also held roles at BBC Worldwide and worked as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company in Australia.
Australia and New Zealand are key markets for Discovery and have recently become combined with the UK under James Gibbons’ leadership to focus on overall development. The similar culture, demographics, language and programming strategy of these markets informed the alignment with the UK business.
Discovery’s channels business currently consists of Discovery Channel, Discovery Turbo, TLC, Animal Planet, Discovery Science, Discovery Kids, Eurosport and Eurosport News in Australia and Discovery Channel, Discovery Turbo, Animal Planet, TLC, Living Channel and Food TV in New Zealand.
James Gibbons said: “I am delighted that Rebecca has agreed to run our Australia and New Zealand business. She has a diverse background, has worked across many different initiatives and markets and has a really strong understanding of the media environment in these important territories, which will be instrumental as we work on developing the existing business.”
Rebecca Kent said: “I’ve really enjoyed managing the Australian and New Zealand markets over these past months and am delighted to take on the role permanently. I’m excited by the local business, the new alignment with the UK and the opportunity to work with James on strengthening key partnerships and driving the ANZ business forward.”