Discovery loses Sherpa champion

05 October, 2015 by Don Groves

Phil Craig is departing as chief creative officer of Discovery Networks International (DNI) just eight months after joining from the ABC.

Formerly head of factual at the ABC, Craig indicated he has decided to return to the independent production sector.


At DNI he acquired broadcast rights to Jen Peedom’s Sherpa from the worldwide distributor Universal Pictures Home Entertainment Content Group.

DNI will screen the Everest doc in more than 200 countries next year and it will get a cinema release in Australia/New Zealand in February via Transmission Films.

Also at DBI Craig commissioned Sydney Harbour Uncovered (working title), a 6-part series from WTFN which will focus on the people who keep the world’s largest natural harbour running , spanning shipping, tourism, industry, culture and commerce.

His departure follows the news that long-time Discovery programming executive Marjorie Kaplan would move to a new London-based role as president of content for its overseas networks.

Craig would have reported to Kaplan, who now takes on his responsibilities in addition to her own while the company weighs up whether to appoint a successor, according to C21 Media.

DNI stated: “Phil Craig has decided to step down from his role as executive VP and chief creative officer with Discovery Networks International and go back to his roots as a leading independent producer.

“He enjoyed creative success at DNI and shepherded several series and specials that will hit the air in 2016, including a ground-breaking natural history series, Life of Dogs, and played a key role in bringing the critically acclaimed film Sherpa to Discovery.”