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.
About 21st Century Fox:
21st Century Fox is the world’s premier portfolio of cable, broadcast, film, pay TV and satellite assets spanning six continents across the globe. Reaching more than 1.8 billion subscribers in approximately 50 local languages every day, 21st Century Fox is home to a global portfolio of cable and broadcasting networks and properties, including FOX, FX, FXX, FXM, FS1, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, FOX Sports, Fox Sports Network, National Geographic, STAR India, 28 local television stations in the U.S. and more than 300 international channels; film studio Twentieth Century Fox Film; and television production studios Twentieth Century Fox Television and a 50% ownership interest in Endemol Shine Group. The Company also holds a 39.1% ownership interest in Sky, Europe’s leading entertainment company, which serves 22 million customers across five countries. For more information about 21st Century Fox, please visit www.21CF.com.
About National Geographic Partners:
National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 130 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching millions of people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit natgeotv.com or nationalgeographic.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
About National Geographic Society:
The National Geographic Society is a leading nonprofit that invests in bold people and transformative ideas in the fields of exploration, scientific research, storytelling and education. The Society aspires to create a community of change, advancing key insights about the planet and probing some of the most pressing scientific questions of our time, all while ensuring that the next generation is armed with geographic knowledge and global understanding. Its goal is measurable impact: furthering exploration and educating people around the world to inspire solutions for the greater good. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.org.
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