Brooke Runnette, a former Discovery executive whose role included producing Shark Week, has been named the new president of National Geographic Television.
Runnette, an Emmy and Peabody Award winner, was executive producer and director of specials for Discovery before becoming vice president of development and special projects at National Geographic Channels. As president, she will oversee shows, special events and live programming.
Runnette replaces Maryanne Culpepper, whose exit was announced earlier this year. Under Runnette's leadership, the 2010 Shark Week was the highest rated in the 23-year history of the annual event.
“Our top priority at National Geographic Television is finding and producing the best content and original programming to support the international growth and influence of our cable channels around the world,” said John Fahey, chairman and CEO of National Geographic Society. “Brooke joined the National Geographic Channels just as we were searching for the right executive to lead our television production group, and we quickly realized that she was the perfect fit for that key role — with the passion, drive, experience and industry knowledge that can continue and build the National Geographic Television franchise. Brooke’s track record speaks for itself, and we are excited to have her on our team.”
“I am beyond excited at this incredible opportunity,” said Runnette. “The power of the National Geographic brand is unparalleled, and I look forward to working with the team at NGT in producing relevant, entertaining and powerful programming that becomes part of the television zeitgeist.”
One of Runnette’s first assignments at the National Geographic Channels involves the spring 2013 series “The 80’s: The Decade That Made Us.” She will continue to executive produce the series as she transitions to NGT.