They were probably pouring shots of vodka at Discovery Communications HQ in Maryland when the company announced plans for a major Russian expansion Wednesday. Discovery's Russian strategy involves investing in new programming initiatives and the creation of a "Moscow hub" to handle the company's Eastern bloc operations.
As part of its expansion, Discovery will launch a Russian version of the TLC channel in Jan. 2011. There are currently six Discovery Communications channels in Russia
Discovery Communications' president and CEO David Zaslav also announced two new shows that are in development for the Disocvery Channel in the former U.S.S.R. There will be a Russian version of "Mythbusters" and a young people's science and education programming block with the wonderful title "Crazy Break." Zaslaz said these initiatives represented the company's "expanded commitment in Russia."
“Russia is one of the most dynamic markets in the world and Discovery Communications is focused on increasing a number of high quality services from our brand portfolio in the market … Today's commitment is to ensure Russian audiences have access to entertaining and educational programming across a number of Discovery's properties and platforms,” Zaslav said.
Discovery is also be making hires for its new "Moscow hub" office. The company will be growing its programming, ad sales and affiliate operations in Russia. Aspiring execs who don't mind cold temperatures and have a knack for conversational Russian might want to send in resumes.