Major decisions about the jobs of the approximately 1,300 Discovery Inc. employees who work at the company’s Silver Spring headquarters remain in flux as the media giant prepares to move out of the community.
Discovery’s Chief Corporate Operations and Communications Officer David Leavy said in an email to Bethesda Beat on Wednesday night that the company is “still months away” from making decisions about potential layoffs or major employee relocations that could come with the move.
Discovery plans to close its Silver Spring office headquarters next year and relocate to New York City. It plans to base many of its operational employees in Knoxville, Tennessee. Company officials also intend to maintain a small “network hub” in Maryland to support several hundred local jobs such as those in the government relations department as well as a “technology hub” in Sterling, Virginia.
Silver Spring-based Discovery employees who spoke to Bethesda Beat on the condition of anonymity given concerns about their jobs said this month they have not been informed about any potential layoffs due to the move.
Leavy noted in the email that Discovery’s approximately $14.6 billion acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive closed three weeks ago. He previously said the company planned to provide more information to Silver Spring employees after the acquisition was finalized.
Discovery acquired Knoxville-based Scripps’ lineup of television channels that includes the Food Network, HGTV and Travel Channel in the deal.
Given the potential duplication of responsibilities between Scripps and Discovery workers, company officials have said changes in its workforce would be likely.
Following the closure of the deal, the company reported in Securities and Exchange Commission filings this week that Discovery CEO David Zaslav received a nearly 14 percent increase in pay when compared to the previous year, according to The Washington Business Journal.
Zaslav received about $42.5 million in pay last year that included his $3 million in base salary, $14.99 million in stock awards, about $15.6 million in option awards and $8.1 million in bonuses for meeting company performance goals. The pay package made him the highest-paid CEO in the Washington, D.C., region, according to the report.