Eileen O’Neill was recently named President & General Manager of TLC, Discovery Communications. O’Neill’s recent promotion is a reflection of her success guiding one of the most successful network introductions in Discovery’s history. O’Neill oversaw the strategic development of Planet Green, Discovery Communications’ global, cross-platform initiative including the first-ever 24-hour television network dedicated solely to green lifestyle programming. O’Neill provided leadership and coordination of Planet Green’s investment in new original content and a robust multi-platform offering providing information and resources related to sustainable development, conservation, organic lifestyles and healthy living.
Previously, O’Neill served as executive vice president and general manager of Discovery Health Channel and FitTV, overseeing the development and execution of programming and production strategies for both networks. She also managed the overall direction of the networks, interfacing with ad sales, marketing and affiliate sales to further develop the brand and create a unique environment for advertisers, operators and viewers.
Earlier, O’Neill served as senior vice president and general manager for Discovery Health Channel, developing and overseeing innovative programming and initiatives to extend the network’s brand. Under her leadership, the network saw record ratings in all day-parts, including the strongest delivery ever during August 2005. Top-rated shows developed under O’Neill include MYSTERY DIAGNOSIS, JON & KATE PLUS 8, and DR. G MEDICAL EXAMINER.
O’Neill’s commitment to producing “TV That Matters” – programming designed to both educate and entertain and make an impact on viewers’ lives – is evident in the network’s brand-extending annual initiatives. These include NATIONAL BODY CHALLENGE, which in five years has helped Americans lose nearly 500 tons, and BIRTH DAY LIVE! which has seen more than 90 babies born live on TV over four years. In addition, O’Neill made Discovery Health Channel an information resource to raise awareness about the importance of organ donation.
In 2004, O’Neill brought the first DISCOVERY HEALTH CHANNEL MEDICAL HONORS to the nation’s capital. This awards ceremony recognized national health and medical pioneers, placing an emphasis on the country’s true heroes. Also, O’Neill introduced continuing medical education programming to the network, allowing medical professionals the opportunity to further their education through innovative and informative programming.
O’Neill, a 17-year Discovery veteran, previously served as director of scheduling for Travel Channel, which was acquired by Discovery Communications in 1997. Before that position, O’Neill served as Discovery Communications’ director of business affairs, responsible for all contract negotiations concerning co-productions, commissioned programming and original work for Discovery Channel, TLC and Animal Planet. She served in this capacity for four years, working with such partners as the BBC, Warner Brothers and LMNO Productions.
O’Neill describes herself as “homegrown talent,” having started at Discovery Communications as an unpaid intern while earning a graduate degree in popular culture from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Having successfully developed a programming library that earned the respect of her professional mentors, she was hired by DCI’s networks operation department immediately upon graduation.