Discovery buys half of CBS cable channel

Maryland Watch

July 28, 1998

CBS Corp. will sell half of its unprofitable CBS Eye on People channel to Discovery Communications Inc. as part of a joint venture designed to improve the cable outlet's programming and distribution.

Closely held Discovery will manage the channel, which will be renamed Eye on People.

The Bethesda company owns the Discovery Channel, the Learning Channel, 70 percent of Animal Planet and the Nature Co.'s 124-store retail chain, including its 7,000-square-foot Harborplace outlet. The stores are being converted to Discovery Channel stores.

Eye on People, which features programming on personalities, will be overseen by a board of representatives from both companies. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

CBS Eye on People also offers some historical documentaries by CBS News, Discovery and other producers. Geoffrey Darby, who has headed the channel since January 1997, will remain president.

Discovery is owned by Tele-Communications Inc.'s Liberty Media, Cox Communications Inc., Advance/Newhouse Communications and John Hendricks, its founder and chairman.

Pub Date: 7/28/98

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