February 27, 2009

Discovery names new Boss of Planet Green (who will name Waylon Lewis as the green talk show host to inspire / make fun of a new generation)

A year ago, at LOHAS in Boulder, I interviewed then-new President Eileen O’Neill of then-new Planet Green, the first 24 hour all-green-focused TV network and impetus for my finally signing up for cable at the ripe old age of 33. After the interview, I slipped Eileen five bucks, hoping she’s sign me up for a nightly green talk show that would do for “the mindful life,” as we here at elephantjournal.com call it, what Jon Stewart has done for politics—take something of primary interest to a limited, aged choir and make it fun, yet fundamentally serious.

Via Treehugger, which is owned by Discovery, which owns Planet Green. Excerpt:

Most recently, Michalchyshyn held the position of Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Sundance Channel where she was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the channel including all programming and development, creative strategy, scheduling, marketing, public relations and digital. While at Sundance, Michalchyshyn doubled the network’s original programming hours and tripled the number of programming hours overall. During her tenure, Sundance Channel became the largest aggregator of independent films on television with acquisitions of close to 250 films per year.

Michalchyshyn oversaw the production of many notable original programs includingBig Ideas for a Small PlanetIconoclastsNimrod NationArchitecture SchoolSin City LawLive from Abbey Road, and Spectacle: Elvis Costello with… among many others. Michalchyshyn acquired numerous documentary features and television series including Slings & ArrowsCity of Men and Kath & Kim, and films such as Body of War,Lagerfeld Confidential and The Return of the War Room. Under her leadership, Sundance Channel launched new destinations such as Asia Extreme, Sonic Screen and most notably, The Green, the channel’s environmental content block which launched in 2007. The Green combines original series including EcobizEcoist,Ecotrip, and Lazy Environmentalist and acquired series such as It’s Not Easy Being GreenCarbon CopsSierra Club Chronicles and Outrageous Wasters. Documentaries in the block include Garbage WarriorOff the GridCrude ImpactWaste = Food,Manufactured Landscapes and Weather Report…

Via New York Times comes this pithy announcement:

Planet Green, the environmentally oriented cable channel from Discovery Communications, is preparing to name a new general manager. Laura Michalchyshyn, who currently runs the Sundance Channel, is expected to be tapped…for the rest.

And here’s an excerpt of the announcement from TV Week:

Ms. Michalchyshyn currently is general manager of Sundance Channel, which was acquired by Cablevision’s Rainbow Media last year.

She would replace Eileen O’Neill, who was named president of Discovery’s struggling TLC last year.

Planet Green was operating as part of Discovery’s Emerging Networks unit. Hiring a dedicated manager is a sign that Discovery is committed to the channel.

Discovery representatives had no comment. Ms. Michalchyshyn did not return a call to her office.

During Discovery Communications’ fourth-quarter earnings conference call Wednesday morning, CEO David Zaslav said a new president for Planet Green was about to be named. “She’s very strong,” he added.

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