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Courteney Monroe re-ups at Nat Geo ahead of Disney/Fox merger

Courteney Monroe is to stay on as president of Nat Geo ahead of Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox. 

The exec – who had been tipped to join the combined Disney/Fox post-merger – has renewed her contract with the Fox-owned broadcaster.

She will continue to report into Gary Knell, chairman of National Geographic Partners, and work closely with Peter Rice, president of 21st Century Fox and CEO of Fox Networks Group, who was recently named chairman of Walt Disney Television.

Monroe, who first joined Nat Geo from HBO in 2011, will continue to oversee global programming, operations and marketing for the Nat Geo portfolio, which includes Nat Geo Wild, Nat Geo Mundo, in-house production arm NG Studios as well as the recently established National Geographic Documentary Films banner.

Under a mantra of “fewer, bigger, better”, Monroe has pioneered Nat Geo’s premium programming strategy over the last two years, partnering with high-profile talent such as director Darren Aronofsky on series One Strange Rock and actor Geoffrey Rush for award-winning scripted anthology series Genius.

Under Monroe, the channel’s feature docs Jane and Free Solo have also won critical acclaim.

Elsewhere, Geoff Daniels, who previously headed Nat Geo Wild, has been appointed executive VP of global unscripted entertainment for Nat Geo Channels.

The exec has been serving in the role on an interim basis.

In the post, he oversees all development and production for unscripted programming for both Nat Geo and Nat Geo Wild. Based out of Washington DC, he reports into Monroe.

Meanwhile, Carolyn Bernstein will become executive VP of global scripted content and documentary films, adding oversight of feature docs under the National Geographic Documentary Films banner.

Reporting into Monroe, she will be based out of Nat Geo’s Los Angeles office.

Knell said: “We’re very excited to build on Courteney’s successful strategy, which has resulted in year-over-year growth, generated unprecedented critical acclaim and significantly raised the profile of National Geographic. I have no doubt that Courteney will continue to drive growth and success for our brand around the world.”