David Zaslav is an American media executive who currently serves as the CEO of Discovery, Inc. He was born on January 15, 1960, in Brooklyn, New York. Zaslav attended Binghamton University, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Science and then went on to earn a law degree from Boston University.
Zaslav began his career as an attorney, working in private practice before moving to NBC in 1989. At NBC, he rose through the ranks to become President of Cable and Domestic TV and New Media Distribution, where he oversaw the development of cable networks like CNBC, MSNBC, and Bravo.
In 2007, Zaslav left NBC to join Discovery Communications as CEO. Under his leadership, Discovery has grown into a global media company, with a portfolio of popular networks including Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, TLC, and HGTV. Zaslav has also overseen the company’s expansion into digital media, with the launch of the streaming service Discovery+ in 2021.
Zaslav is known for his bold and ambitious strategies, including the acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive in 2018, which added several popular lifestyle networks to Discovery’s portfolio. He is also credited with spearheading the company’s expansion into international markets, particularly in Europe and Asia.
As of March 2023, Zaslav’s net worth is estimated at $5.6 billion, according to Forbes. Much of his wealth comes from his ownership stake in Discovery, as well as from generous compensation packages that have included stock options and bonuses. Zaslav has also been a generous philanthropist, supporting causes including education and healthcare.
Here is a timeline of David Zaslav’s career:
- 1960: David Zaslav is born in Brooklyn, New York.
- 1982: Zaslav earns a Bachelor’s degree in Science from Binghamton University.
- 1985: Zaslav earns his law degree from Boston University.
- 1985-1989: Zaslav works as an attorney in private practice.
- 1989-2007: Zaslav works at NBC in various roles, including President of Cable and Domestic TV and New Media Distribution.
- 2007: Zaslav becomes the CEO of Discovery Communications.
- 2011: Zaslav oversees the acquisition of the media company OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.
- 2014: Zaslav leads Discovery’s acquisition of a controlling stake in Eurosport.
- 2018: Zaslav oversees the acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive, which adds popular networks like HGTV and Food Network to Discovery’s portfolio.
- 2021: Zaslav launches the streaming service Discovery+.
- March 2023: Zaslav’s net worth is estimated at $5.6 billion, according to Forbes.
5 Interesting Facts about David Zaslav:
- Zaslav was once a contestant on the game show Jeopardy! in the 1980s.
- He has been named to Forbes’ list of Most Powerful People in Entertainment multiple times.
- Zaslav is a trustee of the Paley Center for Media and serves on the boards of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association and the USC Shoah Foundation.
- He is an avid fan of sports, particularly the New York Yankees and New York Giants.
- Zaslav is a philanthropist who has supported causes including education, healthcare, and the arts.
5 Quotes from David Zaslav:
- “We have a mission to educate, inform and entertain people around the world. And the world is our market.”
- “We have to be focused on what our viewers want, and we have to be on all the platforms that they are on.”
- “We have to continue to innovate and stay ahead of the curve.”
- “You have to be willing to take risks and try new things. If you’re not failing sometimes, you’re not pushing yourself hard enough.”
- “I believe in being transparent and straightforward with people. That’s how you build trust and strong relationships.”