* COO post will eliminated
* Discovery joint ventures have had shaky starts
* Shares down 4.5 percent
NEW YORK, Nov 9 Peter Ligouri, the executive
charged with setting up Discovery Communications'
joint venture networks is stepping down after two years in his
role as chief operating officer by end of the year.
Ligouri, a former president of entertainment at News Corp's
Fox Broadcasting, will not be replaced as the company is
eliminating the COO role. He leaves after overseeing the
launches of the three joint venture networks in the last year.
Discovery's strategy to relaunch cable networks with
partners has had shaky results so far.
OWN network, the high-profile partnership with TV
entertainment mogul Oprah Winfrey, has had a particularly
troubled start. The fledgling network lost its president just
weeks ahead of its January launch and Ligouri had to act as
interim CEO till Winfrey herself took control in July.
The Hub, a joint venture with toymaker Hasbro , has
also had limited rating success to date after it was relaunched
in October as a replacement for Discovery Kids.
3net, a joint venture with Sony Corp and IMAX Corp , is dedicated to 3D programming and is also yet to
make much of an impact in ratings terms.
Discovery shares were down 4.5 percent to $43.02, along
with other media stocks, in early trading on Nasdaq.