David M. Zaslav is the president and chief executive officer of Discovery Inc., a position he has held since January 2007.
Most recently under Zaslav, Discovery acquired Scripps Networks Interactive, in a transaction which closed in March 2018. He was previously an executive at NBCUniversal.
Early life and education
Zaslav was born to a Jewish family in Brooklyn, New York. At the age of 8, he moved to Rockland County (NY) where he graduated from Ramapo High School. He was captain of the varsity tennis team.
Zaslav earned a bachelor of science degree from Binghamton University.
Following this, he graduated from Boston University School of Law with a JD with honors in 1985 and started his career as an attorney with LeBoeuf, Lamb, Lieby and MacRae in New York.
Zaslav joined NBC in 1989. As president of Cable and Domestic TV and New Media Distribution, he oversaw content distribution to all forms of TV, negotiated for cable and satellite carriage of NBC Universal networks and forged media partnerships.
His responsibilities extended to Bravo, CNBC World, SCI FI, ShopNBC, Sleuth, Telemundo, Telemundo Puerto Rico, mun2, Trio, Universal HD, USA Network, NBC Weather Plus and the Olympics on cable.
Zaslav also oversaw NBC Universal's interests in A&E, The History Channel, The Biography Channel, National Geographic International, the Sundance Channel and TiVo.
Zaslav became CEO of Discovery Communications in January 2007. Zaslav instigated a shift in strategy by the company, aiming to see itself as a "content company" rather than a "cable company" by bolstering its main networks (such as its namesake Discovery Channel) as multi-platform brands. As CEO, Zaslav oversaw the development and launch of new networks such as Planet Green (later rebranded as Destination America), The Hub, Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), Velocity, and Investigation Discovery, as well as the company's 2018 acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive, expansion of its digital education operations, and current emphasis on streaming services. Zaslav will oversee a new company combining Discovery with WarnerMedia after the latter company is spun off from AT&T.
Boards and other activities
Zaslav serves on the boards of Sirius XM., Lionsgate, the NCTA, The Cable Center, Center for Communication, Grupo Televisa, Partnership for New York City, Syracuse University, and USC Shoah Foundation. He also is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Paley Center for Media and the Mt. Sinai Medical Center. He is chair of the Auschwitz: The Past Is Present Committee which promotes awareness of the Holocaust. In 2012, he received the Steven J. Ross Humanitarian Award from the UJA-Federation of New York which honors people of vision, energy and sustained achievement in the entertainment, media and communications industries.
In 2014, Zaslav was awarded the Fred Dressler Leadership Award by Syracuse University's S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.
David Zaslav was awarded the Susan Newhouse & SI Newhouse Award of Hope for his support of the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD) in September 2016.
In 2017, Zaslav was inducted into the Cable Hall of Fame.
In 2018, Zaslav received the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Award.
Zaslav lives in New York City with his wife Pam and the couple has three children.