News


David Lyle exits Nat Geo, new CEO installed

National Geographic Channels is replacing CEO David Lyle with its domestic networks’ chief marketing officer Courteney Monroe.

David LyleLyle (pictured) is following Nat Geo president Howard T. Owens out of the door, following news of his departure yesterday.

His replacement, Monroe, has been in charge of Nat Geo’s domestic marketing since January 2012 and will take on the CEO job in the US on May 1. She will report to the Nat Geo board of directors.

Furthermore, David Hill, who is senior executive VP of Nat Geo shareholder 21st Century Fox and a member of the National Geographic Channels directors’ board, has added the role of National Geographic Channels US chairman to his bow.

He will continue on the Nat Geo board and as a producer of FOX’s American Idol.

Nat Geo Channels is a joint partnership of 21st Century Fox’s Fox Networks Group and the National Geographic Society. Monroe is now in charge of a group of channels comprising National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD and the Spanish-language net Nat Geo MUNDO.

Prior to joining Nat Geo, where she has overseen marketing campaigns for successful shows such as Wicked Tuna and Brain Games, she was executive VP, consumer marketing and digital platforms at HBO. She had been with the Time Warner-owned cable channel since 1998.

“Courteney is a truly remarkable executive, with a proven track record of energizing programming brands — both here at National Geographic Channels and during her time at HBO,” said Fox Networks Group chairman and CEO Peter Rice and Nat Geo Society president and CEO Gary Knell in a joint statement. “She is also a proven leader, who has a clear vision of the television landscape, and we are very lucky to have her overseeing our domestic channels.”

Lyle, meanwhile, has been attached to the 21st Century Fox business in various guises for a significant period. He launched the Fox Reality Channel and formats distributor FOX Look. Prior to that, he worked with the company in his role as president, entertainment at FremantleMedia, which produces American Idol for Fox.

Lyle took control of Nat Geo Channels in 2011.

“I am very happy with the success that our teams in DC and in the new offices in LA and New York had in bringing a fresh era of entertainment to the traditional authenticity of National Geographic,” said Lyle. “Both Nat Geo WILD and National Geographic Channel have introduced great franchise series that stand them in good stead for the future.”

“Since my first day as CEO of the society in January, David’s dedication, professionalism and passion for these channels was evident,” added Knell. “I personally want to thank him for bringing together the team that has taken the channels to where they are today.