Johnathan Rodgers Named President & CEO Of New Comcast/Radio One TV Channel
Johnathan Rodgers has been named president and CEO of a new cable television network targeting adult African American and urban viewers that will be launched later this year by Comcast Corporation, the nation's largest cable operator, and Radio One, the largest radio broadcaster primarily targeting African-American and urban listeners.
Rodgers was president of Discovery Networks U.S. for six years, where he was responsible for the programming, marketing, research, distribution, operations and ad sales of the highly regarded television group which included the Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Discovery Kids and the Travel Channel.
"Johnathan has an incredible track record in operating top-quality, financially successful television ventures," said Alfred Liggins, president and CEO of Radio One and chairman of the to-be-named cable network. "While at the Discovery Networks he helped launch Animal Planet and re-launch the Travel Channel. That experience plus his strong programming skills will be invaluable as we move forward with this new enterprise to bring high-quality entertainment programming to the African American and urban television audience."
"I am delighted and honored to be a part of this historic new enterprise," Rodgers said. "I am confident that Radio One's marketing prowess in urban markets combined with Comcast's tremendous resources and experience in cable operations and programming will help ensure that this network becomes a prime destination for adult television viewers," Rodgers said.
The new network will include a broad mix of original and existing programming from all the entertainment genres, including scripted and unscripted dramas, sitcoms, game shows, movies, plays and news magazines. A portion of the programming will be devoted to public affairs and news documentaries.
During Rodgers' tenure at Discovery Networks, the Discovery Channel shattered cable documentary ratings records with the premieres of Walking with Dinosaurs (seen by an average of 10.7 million viewers) and Raising the Mammoth (viewed by an average of 10.1 million people); TLC grew to more than 80 million viewers and launched its smash hit series, Trading Spaces; Animal Planet became the fastest-growing network in television history, reaching nearly 80 million households in a 5 ½ year period; Travel Channel grew from 20 million to 60 million subscribers; Discovery Health Channel grew
to 35 million subscribers in fewer than three years; and Discovery Networks collectively earned 405 programming awards, including the Emmy's prestigious Governor's Award, a Peabody Award for Walking with Dinosaurs, the company's first-ever Primetime Emmy Awards (11 total) and its first-ever Academy Awards nominations for TLC's On the Ropes and Discovery Channel's Wildest Show in the South: The Angola Prison Rodeo.
Prior to joining Discovery Communications, Inc. in 1996, Rodgers had a successful 20-year career at CBS, Inc., where he held a variety of executive positions including serving as the President of CBS' highly profitable television stations division. During his career at CBS, Rodgers also served as an award-winning local station news director and as an executive producer at CBS News.
Rodgers began his professional career as a print journalist working as a writer-reporter for Sports Illustrated; he later worked for Newsweek Magazine as an associate editor.
Rodgers is on the boards of the Children's Defense Fund and the Peabody Awards and he is a trustee of the University of California (Berkeley) Foundation. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Procter & Gamble Company.
He received his undergraduate degree in journalistic studies from the University of California at Berkeley, and his masters in communications from Stanford University.
Comcast Corporation (www.comcast.com) is principally involved in the development, management and operation of broadband cable networks, and in the provision of electronic commerce and programming content. The company is the largest cable company in the United States, serving more than 21 million cable subscribers. The Company's commerce and content businesses include majority ownership of QVC, Comcast Spectacor, Comcast SportsNet, E! Entertainment Television, Style, The Golf Channel, Outdoor Life Network and G4. Comcast Class A common stock and Class A Special common stock is traded on The NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbols CMCSA and CMCSK, respectively.
About Radio One
Radio One, Inc. (www.radio-one.com) is the nation's seventh largest radio broadcasting company (based on 2001 pro forma revenue) and the largest primarily targeting African-American and urban listeners. Pro forma for all announced acquisitions, the Company owns and/or operates 66 radio stations located in 22 urban markets in the United States and reaches approximately 12.5 million listeners every week. The company also programs five channels on the XM Satellite Radio Inc. system.