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TITLE: Executive vice president, corporate operations and general counsel. AGE: 42 THE COMPANY: The Discovery Channel was founded in 1985 by Chairman and CEO John Hendricks with 156,000 subscribers in the United States. Since that time, Discovery Communications Inc. has grown steadily, adding The Learning Channel, Animal Planet, the Travel Channel and Discovery Health. Discovery has an online unit and 170 Discovery Channel retail stores. It is one of the most popular cable networks in the United States, with programming that consists largely of documentaries and educational shows about nature, history, adventure, health, science and technology. Discovery now reaches some 650 million people in 155 countries and territories. The company is owned by Liberty Media Corp. (49 percent), Cox Communications (25 percent) and Advance/Newhouse Communications. THE DEPARTMENT: Discovery’s legal department has 25 lawyers, three of whom work in London; the rest work at the company’s headquarters in Bethesda, Md. The department is divided into four groups, headed by deputies who report directly to Mark Hollinger. “I have the great luxury of having them manage most of the legal work for me,” said Hollinger. Programming and production issues occupy the largest number of lawyers, who are overseen by Doug Coblens. The group that handles distribution contracts with cable and satellite companies is headed by Steve Sidel. International network business is overseen in London by Mine Hifzi. The fourth group, headed by Tia Cudahy, is a grab bag of everything else: corporate work, mergers and acquisitions, human resources and employment law and trademark issues. LITIGATION: “We have surprisingly little litigation, knock on wood,” Hollinger said. “Cases are pretty few and far between.” This is due in large part to the fact that Discovery licenses most of the shows it broadcasts, rather than producing them itself. As a result, the producers end up with most of the legal headaches over things like releases and insurance, Hollinger said. The producers typically indemnify Discovery in these matters. “If there are disputes, usually you find ways other than court to deal with them, said Hollinger. “They need you and you need them.” But as with all companies, disputes do come up from time to time. Trademark and copyright infringement is sometimes a problem, particularly overseas. Stars of the company’s most popular shows, including Steve Irwin of the “Crocodile Hunter,” are often portrayed in ways they would never have imagined. In one instance, the owner of a car dealer produced a commercial in which he styled himself “The Car Deal Hunter,” dressed in outback gear and sitting in a kiddie pool filled with fake plants and reptiles. And recently a couple of kids came up with “The Osama Hunter,” an animated Internet parody in which Irwin hunts down the world’s most wanted man. In most cases, said Doug Coblens, who oversees litigation for Discovery, a letter warning infringers to “cease and desist” usually does the job. Policing Internet violations can be tricky, though. While Discovery was able to get the makers of “The Osama Hunter” to pull the parody, several other Internet sites have since made it available. Discovery was also caught up in an antitrust inquiry in the United Kingdom over the company’s deal to have some of its programming distributed exclusively with Sky TV, a British satellite broadcaster. The case was resolved when Sky agreed to amend the deal to eliminate the exclusivity provision. Now that Discovery has some 4,300 employees in about 30 states across the country, employment law and other human resource issues are becoming more important, said Hollinger. DEALS: Much of Hollinger’s legal work has been centered on expanding Discovery through acquisitions and joint ventures with other companies. “Most of the work is primarily deal-driven, as opposed to litigation- or regulation-oriented,” Hollinger said. “There are literally thousands of deals that we do in-house.” Discovery is expanding its presence in Canada, Germany and Japan through joint ventures with foreign companies, including a plan to bring Animal Planet to Japan in a deal that was wrapped up at the end of 2001, according to Hollinger. Also last year, Discovery bought the Health Channel from Fox Broadcasting Co., making Discovery Health the dominant cable broadcaster of health and medical information. And the company also completed a $700 million private placement in 2001, in what the company said was the largest private media transaction in 10 years. Discovery has a joint venture deal to provide German-language programming in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. While many of the deals are structured to extend Discovery’s global reach, there is an import side as well. Through a joint venture with the British Broadcasting Corp., Discovery is the primary exhibitor in the United States of BBC nonfiction programs. While he could not discuss particular target companies, Hollinger said he also anticipates more work in the next year relating to corporate mergers and acquisitions. OUTSIDE COUNSEL: The corporate work is handled by the New York office of Baker & McKenzie and New York’s Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler. For trademark issues, Discovery uses New York’s White & Case. The Washington, D.C. office of New York’s Proskauer Rose handles labor and employment matters. OPERATIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES: As his career with Discovery has progressed, Hollinger has been given more responsibilities outside the legal department. For several months beginning in 1994, Hollinger was based in Hong Kong, where he managed the launch of Discovery Channel-Asia. After returning to the U.S., Hollinger was made vice president for international business development. And after a corporate reorganization last year, Hollinger added the title of executive vice president for corporate operations. In that job, he oversees several Discovery groups, including design and creative services, human resources, production management, business affairs, content management and information services. He is one of two corporate officers who coordinate acquisitions, joint ventures and business development. Hollinger said that his greatest challenge at the moment is “getting a handle on the corporate operations group.” In addition to the legal department, Hollinger now oversees more than 500 people, “many of whom have nothing to do with anything legal,” he said. ROUTE TO THE TOP: Hollinger, a graduate of Colgate University, joined New York’s Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison after graduating from Yale Law School in 1985. While at Paul Weiss, Hollinger worked as an associate in the entertainment law group and taught entertainment law as an adjunct at Columbia University. Limited partnership opportunities in the group and a desire to spend more time with his family influenced Hollinger’s decision to leave Paul Weiss for Discovery in 1991. As the company has grown by leaps and bounds, so have Hollinger’s responsibilities. When Hollinger joined Discovery, he was one of two deputies to Judith A. McHale, then the company’s general counsel. He took over as general counsel when McHale was made chief operating officer in 1996. Hollinger says his father’s career in advertising may have pointed him toward the entertainment business. “It’s law, but it’s fun,” he said. “It’s just the right level of law and media business.” FAMILY: Hollinger is married to Cathy MacNeil Hollinger, who works in theatrical management. Together, they have three children — ages 2, 4 and 6. Hollinger’s favorite Discovery program is “Crocodile Hunter,” which he watches with his kids. LAST BOOK READ: “The Proving Ground: The Inside Story of the 1998 Sydney to Hobart Race,” by G. Bruce Knecht, about an Australian yacht race that turned disastrous when an unexpected storm hit.

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