To the editor:

Bethesda Beat’s unfair and unbalanced May 2, 2018, article, “Hogan Had Little Contact With Discovery Before Company Decided To Leave Silver Spring” leaves the reader with a simple choice—do they believe the facts as reinforced by Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and Discovery executives, or do they believe the inaccurate claims of political operatives who had no involvement in the process whatsoever? 

As the point person tasked by Governor Hogan to coordinate our negotiations with Discovery, I can state unequivocally that the governor was front and center in developing and executing our best efforts to retain the company. The shared desire of both Governor Hogan and County Executive Leggett to keep Discovery in Maryland was unquestioned. In a Jan. 10, 2018, letter to Governor Hogan after Discovery’s announcement, County Executive Leggett thanked the governor for “his personal involvement” in playing “a critical role in developing an aggressive state-county response.” 

When you get past the partisan rhetoric used by Maryland Democratic Party Chair Kathleen Matthews, it is clear that state and county officials were extremely proactive in their discussions with Discovery executives. In the article, Discovery Chief Operations Officer David Leavy was quoted as saying “Maryland elected officials worked very hard and did their jobs in trying to find a solution for Discovery,” and, importantly, the company plans to keep a sizeable number of employees here in Maryland. 

Leavy also added that “no one ‘lost’ Discovery” and that, ultimately, it came down to a very tough business decision that was made in the best interest of the company following their merger with Tennessee-based Scripps Networks Interactive. In his January 2018 letter, County Executive Leggett concluded that “keeping Discovery here presented an extraordinary challenge considering the rapidly-changing nature of the media industry.”

The state and county’s discussions with Discovery truly were a team effort with all parties operating in good faith. It’s unfortunate that partisan operatives are attempting to skew the facts for political gain, and even more unfortunate that Bethesda Beat afforded them the opportunity to do so. 

Related – Hogan Had Little Contact With Discovery Before Company Decided To Leave Silver Spring

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