National Geographic Partners will have a new CEO starting March 1. Gary E. Knell who is currently President/CEO of National Geographic Society is taking over from Declan Moore as CEO of National Geographic Partners. Mr. Knell will be tasked with overseeing all of National Geographic’s global storytelling assets, including the television, magazine, print and digital operations, licensing and travel expeditions. Here is the full announcement:
Gary E. Knell Named to Succeed Declan Moore as New CEO National Geographic Partners
Los Angeles, CA – February 9, 2018 – The Board of National Geographic Partners, a joint venture between 21st Century Fox (NASDAQ: FOXA, FOX) and the National Geographic Society, announced today that Gary E. Knell, who since 2014 has served as President and CEO of the National Geographic Society, will succeed Declan Moore as the new CEO of National Geographic Partners effective March 1.
Moore, who has been CEO of National Geographic Partners since its formation in 2015, led the integration of the organization’s consumer-facing assets into 21st Century Fox (21CF) as part of the two companies’ expanded joint venture. In that time, Moore aligned National Geographic’s programming, publishing and digital strategy more closely around its historic mission to support premium storytelling about science, adventure and exploration. Under Moore, National Geographic grew its global television footprint to 450 million homes, expanded its digital infrastructure and cross-platform storytelling, cemented its status as the world’s leading social media brand, and carried a record number of travelers on Nat Geo Expeditions. Moore began his career at National Geographic in 1995. He previously served in many capacities there, including President of Publishing and Travel and Chief Media Officer.
In his new role as CEO of National Geographic Partners, Knell will oversee all of National Geographic’s global storytelling assets, including the television, magazine, print and digital operations, licensing and travel expeditions. As CEO of the National Geographic Society, Knell was responsible for the Society’s nonprofit and educational activities globally, and until the formation of National Geographic Partners, oversaw the organization’s print and digital platforms, travel and consumer products. Knell presently serves as Chairman of National Geographic Partners, and has also held various board positions at National Geographic since 2003.
21CF President Peter Rice said: “Declan has been a tremendous champion of National Geographic, and his steady leadership in the founding of National Geographic Partners has created a foundation for it to thrive as one of the world’s most iconic media brands for years to come. Gary is ideally situated to build on that momentum. Nobody understands National Geographic better than Gary, and his breadth of media experience, strategic mindset and global perspective make him the perfect leader of the organization at this exciting time of transformation.”
Jean Case, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of National Geographic Society and member of the Board of National Geographic Partners added: “I have tremendous respect for Gary’s outstanding leadership. His passionate commitment to science, exploration and storytelling – combined with his deep expertise in media and his love of the National Geographic brand – makes him ideally suited to lead National Geographic Partners to its next level of success. I also want to express my gratitude to Declan for his extensive contributions to National Geographic Partners and Society.”
Knell said: “I’m thrilled to build on the enormous momentum that’s already been generated by Declan and his team at National Geographic Partners, and to continue to leverage National Geographic’s full portfolio of amazing assets to drive positive change through the best in science, exploration and storytelling. At the Society, we’ve succeeded in developing an impact-driven agenda for the most pressing issues facing the planet, and are well positioned to continue to execute on that ambition thanks to the fantastic leadership team we’ve put in place.”
Moore said: “I’m grateful for the 23 years I’ve dedicated to this extraordinary organization, and am so proud of the teams, the businesses and the brands that we have developed and nurtured in that time. It’s been immensely rewarding working so closely with Peter and Gary and am happy to be leaving NGP in their extremely capable hands. I know that the work we’ve done to scale and modernize National Geographic Partners has positioned the brand for tremendous future success.”
Before coming to National Geographic Society, Knell was president and CEO of National Public Radio. Under his leadership, Knell leveraged the organization’s extensive network of member stations to drive cross-platform journalism and cultural programming, grow philanthropic and corporate underwriting support and draw new audiences to NPR’s distinct offerings. Knell’s career in media spans nearly three decades, including 22 years at Sesame Workshop. During Knell’s 12-year tenure as CEO, Sesame expanded its revenue base, worldwide audience and global recognition. Prior to joining Sesame Workshop, Knell was managing director of Manager Media International, a print and multimedia publishing company based in Bangkok, Hong Kong and Singapore. He also has served as senior vice president and general counsel at WNET/Channel 13 in New York, was counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary and Governmental Affairs Committees in Washington, D.C., and worked in the California State Legislature and Governor’s Office.
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