New York-based media giant Discovery has appointed Clare O’Neil as commercial director for the company in Africa.
Discovery has worked in Africa for 25 years and is a leading global content provider of factual entertainment with eight channels: Discovery Channel, HGTV, TLC, Food Network, ID, Discovery Family, Travel Channel and Real Time.
O’Neil, who has more than 30 years’ experience in the media and broadcasting industry, will be driving commercial growth for the company’s eight TV brands in the region.
Based in Johannesburg, she will be part of a larger contingent team in the Dubai office led by Amanda Turnbull, Discovery’s general manager for Middle East and Africa.
She started her career at the Argus Group and fulfilled multiple roles at M-Net, served as the commercial sales director at e.TV, general manager of television sales and non-executive director at the SABC and was CEO of The Broadcast Research Council from 2015 to 2018.
O’Neil said: “I have an unflagging passion and tested dedication to the media and broadcasting industry and I am extremely excited to embark on this new journey with Discovery. A big part of my role will be to focus on new advertising avenues and to ensure that our partners tap into our dynamic brand through the opportunities that exist across the eight channel verticals.”
Turnbull said: “We are investing in local expertise with this appointment and view it as a firm statement of intent and commitment and an important step forward in bringing the right balance between local and global, while unlocking opportunities beyond the traditional broadcast scope.
“With the addition of Clare, our Johannesburg team brings deep broadcasting and media expertise and I look forward to extending our business footprint within Africa through valuable partnerships in the free-to-air and digital space via collaboration and aggregation.
“This could mean using a broadcaster’s expertise and heritage or building an audience in a new area by collaborating with a partner and using their platform to bring content to life and package it in new and creative ways.”