With a Cheshire cat's grin and the energy of an 18-year-old, Zaslav is taking Discovery everywhere. In his two short years as chief executive he has rebranded three channels in the U.S., launched 20 new networks or feeds overseas and taken the company public. Its stock now trades on Nasdaq, hovering at $17.
Along the way he's replaced the heads of every one of those 13 networks. Discovery's senior managers are fiercely loyal to Zaslav, but practice a button-down camaraderie with their boss, calling him by his nickname, "Zazz."
In the midst of the worst advertising recession in history, ad sales at Discovery's U.S. networks rose 9% during the fourth quarter of last year.