Discovery Communications, the company behind Shark Week and popular cable channels including TLC and Animal Planet, is moving its headquarters from Silver Spring, Md., to New York.
The company — which has 1,300 employees in Silver Spring, down from 2,500 a decade ago — announced that it plans to sell its current headquarters and move into a new building in New York in the second half of 2019.
“To compete, survive and grow, Discovery must continue to change as well,” David Zaslav, the company’s chief executive, said in an email to employees Tuesday morning. “At the center of our new blueprint is New York. New York always has been home to the global media industry. Our ad partners on Madison Avenue, investors and analysts on Wall Street, many of our creative and production community and, increasingly, our content partners, are based in New York.”
Zaslav added that the company will keep some of its operations — government relations, for example — in Maryland, although not necessarily in Silver Spring. Discovery also plans to expand its technology hub in Sterling, Va.
In July, Discovery announced it would be buying Scripps Networks Interactives, the Knoxville-based owner of HGTV, Food Network and the Travel Channel. The $11.9 billion deal is expected to be finalized in the coming months.
“It became clear that, pending closure of the Scripps transaction, we could not operate three large facilities in the U.S.,” Zaslav wrote in the email.
Discovery has spent the past decade building up its presence in New York, which is already home to channels like Animal Planet and ID, as well as the company’s advertising sales, investor relations and business development teams. Zaslav spends much of his time at the company’s Midtown Manhattan offices, and a spokesman said the company plans to consolidate its Manhattan operations into a new location in the second half of 2019.
The announcement comes less than a year after BET Networks, the country’s largest cable network for African American audiences, moved from Northeast Washington to New York.
Discovery in 2016 reported a profit of $1.19 billion on $6.5 billion in annual revenue.