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Discovery Shakeup: Schwab Out, Bennett Upped

The move follows the December departure of ex-Discovery chief John Ford

Discovery Channel is shaking up what it describes as a "key position" on its programming team, replacing Ken Schwab as its senior VP of programming.

Schwab, a former Turner executive who joined the channel just 15 months ago, is being replaced by long-time Discovery staffer Kevin Bennett (left).

Bennett will now have control of day-to-day and long-term scheduling at the network, along with program planning and budgets. He’ll report to Clark Bunting, president and GM of Discovery.

"Kevin’s history with Discovery Communications and deep knowledge of our brands make him invaluable to both the company and to the network,” Bunting said.

Schwab’s departure follows the departure of Bunting’s predecessor, John Ford, who left the channel in December as part of one of those periodic cable re-orgs nobody really understands because there are just too many cable networks to keep track of, based in random cities one would never associate with a TV network (Silver Spring? Atlanta? Long Island?)

Bunting replaced Ford (and also took command of Science). Ford had only been in his job for two years before Discovery Networks grand poobah David Zaslav decided to make a change.

In any case, Ford had nice things to say about Schwab when he hired him in late 2008.

"Ken’s 14 years of experience at Turner and his time in public broadcasting make him a perfect programming executive to drive Discovery Channel forward," Ford said.

But with Ford gone, that high praise apparently didn’t mean as much elsewhere in the Discovery empire.

As Journey once sang, "The wheel in the sky keeps on turning."