SILVER SPRING, MD: Fewer than 10 employees were laid off at Discovery Communications last week, including SVP of communications and public affairs for Planet Green* Annie Howell. Howell helped Discovery with the launch of Planet Green in June 2008 and previously worked at Powell Tate.
The company released the following statement: "Per the reorganization that we did at the end of the year at some of the emerging networks, there were some follow-up efficiencies made there. These weren't big teams so it was only a handful of folks -- less than 10."
Discovery also confirmed that one other communications person was laid off, also from Planet Green, though it declined to name the employee. The layoffs mostly affected networks Planet Green and Discovery Health. The company reports it employs more than 70 communicators, including both networks and corporate communications.
In December 2009, Discovery announced a new organizational structure for its US networks portfolio, including combining Discovery Channel and Science Channel under acting president and GM of Discovery Communications Clark Bunting, and bringing together Planet Green with female-targeted networks Discovery Health and FitTV, to be led by GM Laura Michalchyshyn.