Discovery overhauls ID as Henry Schleiff departs, Jason Sarlanis promoted

Henry Schleiff & Jason Sarlanis

Investigation Discovery (ID) chief Henry Schleiff and head of programming Kevin Bennett are leaving the US cablenet, with TLC’s Jason Sarlanis taking on an expanded remit.

Schleiff has been with the Discovery-owned network for more than a decade and oversaw its move into true crime programming, while also heading up siblings Travel Channel, Destination America and American Heroes Channel.

Soaring Sarlanis

Sarlanis, who has been named president of crime & investigative content for linear and streaming, will now oversee ID, Destination America and American Heroes Channel from 1 September, with Howard Lee, president of TLC streaming & network originals, taking on the Travel Channel remit.

90 Day Fiance

The remit for Sarlanis includes leading programming development, production and content strategy and operations for true crime series and documentaries. He also will have responsibility for the genre on Discovery+.

Matt Butler, GM of Travel Channel, will report to Lee, while Sarlanis, who previously reported to Lee as SVP of development at TLC, now reports directly to Kathleen Finch, chief lifestyle brands officer at Discovery.

Looking ahead

Schleiff is set to move into production and has a first-look deal with Discovery, which recently unveiled its mega-merger with WarnerMedia. Bennett’s next move is not yet known.

Finch said: “Jason is a brilliant content creator and an exceptionally smart strategist, so putting him in charge of the crime and investigative group is the right move. He is one of our most insightful, creative and passionate storytellers and his skillset is an ideal complement to the work we’re doing in this genre.

“His forward-looking leadership and track record with hits like Keeping Up With the Kardashians and the 90 Day Fiancé juggernaut is exactly what we need as we expand our crime content on both linear and Discovery+.”

Finch added that Schleiff had been “a changemaker, a risk-taker and a company and industry legend.”

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