Dinnage, the EPL boss that never was, to leave Discovery in restructure

Susanna Dinnage, the Discovery executive who came close to replacing Richard Scudamore as chief executive of the Premier League, is stepping down as global president of the US media company’s Animal Planet channel.

Dinnage’s departure comes as result of a restructure at Discovery that brings Animal Planet under the control of Nancy Daniels, chief brand officer for Discovery & Factual.

It is just over a year since Dinnage threw the Premier League’s recruitment strategy into turmoil by accepting and subsequently backtracking on an offer to replace Scudamore. The reasons for the television executive’s U-turn were not disclosed but she recommitted herself to Animal Planet after the change of heart.

Dinnage has led Animal Planet since 2017 when it became the first Discovery channel to be managed on a global basis. The restructure means she is now expected to leave the organisation before the end of this year.

Discovery president and chief executive David Zaslav said: “As we thought about this new structure, we arrived at the difficult conclusion that there is no longer a need for a standalone president role for Animal Planet. Susanna Dinnage, who has been an integral and deeply valued member of our leadership team for a decade, is supportive of this decision and will step down from her role as global president of Animal Planet and leave Discovery at the end of the year.

“Susanna has made enormous contributions here, first in her role overseeing Discovery’s 14 UK brands and businesses and steering the London-based production and development department and, most recently, leading Animal Planet.”

Dinnage said: “I have had an incredible decade at Discovery and been privileged to be part of such a purpose-driven, and truly global, company. As the world looks ever more closely at conservation, the past two years at Animal Plant have been particularly rewarding. It’s a very exciting time to be in the world of media and content and I look forward to the future.”

The Premier League finally ended its lengthy search for a new chief executive when it announced the appointment of David Pemsel, currently the chief executive of Guardian Media Group, owner of The Guardian newspaper this October.