September 7, 2007
David Zaslav (’85) Collaborates with DiCaprio to Build “Eco-Town”
Discovery Communications president and CEO David Zaslav (’85) announced a partnership with actor Leonardo DiCaprio on an environment-focused series that will help launch the company’s Planet Green channel. DiCaprio brought the project, which centers on the tornado-ravaged town of aptly-named Greensburg, Kansas, to Zaslav.
Zaslav commented on the 13-part series, “Eco-Town,” at a summer press tour in Beverly Hills: “The centerpiece of the launch of Planet Green is going to be our effort to help the governor of Kansas and the town of Greensburg, Kansas to rebuild that town green.” He added, “It’s not just about entertainment; we’re going to put our resources into Greensburg and Planet Green and try to make a difference.”
Planet Green will launch in 2008 as the first-ever 24-hour channel devoted to a green lifestyle with information on eco-design, organic food and green architecture. The announcement to “go green” extends to a company-wide initiative. As Zaslav recently stated, “The Earth has been central to Discovery since [founder] John Hendricks first chose the planet to represent our brand.”
After graduating from BU Law with honors, Zaslav returned to his home state of New York and worked for the law firm LeBouef, Lamb, Leiby & MacRae. His work as a corporate lawyer introduced him to the cable industry, where he would find his niche. Zaslav joined NBC in 1989 and served as executive vice president of NBC and president of NBC Universal Cable and Domestic TV and New Media Distribution until his departure in January 2007 for Discovery Communications.
Zaslav serves on the boards of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, the National Association of Television Program Executives, Cable Positive, The Cable Center, the Museum of Television and Radio, the Center for Communication, and TiVo. He was an adjunct professor at Fordham University, where he created and taught a graduate-level course on the business of cable television.