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Longtime Investigation Discovery Chief Henry Schleiff to Step Down

Schleiff will end a 40-year career as a cable TV executive

Henry Schleiff, a longtime Discovery executive who helped to lead Investigation Discovery as one of the early pioneers of the true-crime space, is set to step down. Schleiff will end a 40-year career as cable TV executive, though he is not fully retiring; Schleiff will move over to producing with a first-look deal with Discovery.

Since 2015, Schleiff has served as group president of Discovery’s Travel Channel, Investigation Discovery, American Heroes Channel and Destination America. Along with Schleiff, Kevin Bennett is also stepping down as general manager of ID. Jason Sarlanis, who is vice president of development for TLC, will take over Investigation Discovery and two other channels that Schleiff ran.

Schleiff exits as Discovery is preparing to complete its merger with WarnerMedia next year, which will create Warner Bros. Discovery.

“It’s been an honor – and, frankly, a lot of fun – to lead my group of networks here at Discovery over the last several years – and, especially, to see the success and unprecedented growth of ID with its informative, entertaining – on occasion, perhaps, inspiring programming. And, of course, those stunts and titles: anything better than “Wives With Knives”?” Schleiff said in a memo. “Our performance has been due in no small measure from the support at the top from Zas, Kathleen and others – and, even more so, from the uniquely talented and dedicated team I have been fortunate to guide me, correct me – and, laugh with me.”

Schleiff first joined Discovery in 2009. Before that, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of Crown Media Holdings, Inc., owner and operator of Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel.

“I would like to inform you of Henry Schleiff’s next chapter. After many years and countless accomplishments at Discovery, Henry has decided to leave Discovery as Group President of ID, Travel Channel, AHC and Destination America to focus on his passion for production, including a first look for Discovery networks,” said Discovery CEO David Zaslav.

Variety first reported the news about Schleiff.